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Full text of "Richard Mansfield, the man and the actor"









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RICHARD 
MANSFIELD 



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THE MAN 
AND THE 
ACTOR 





BOSTON 
PUBLIC 
tlBRSRY 




RICHARD MANSFIELD 

THE MAN AND THE ACTOR 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 

THE MAN AND THE ACTOR 



BY 

PAUL WILSTACH 



ILLUSTRATED 



CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 
NEW YORK :: :: :: :: :: :: 1909 



COPYRIGHT, 1908, BY 
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 



Published November, 1908 

Second Impression, December, 1908 

Third Impression, January, 1909 

Fourth Impression, October, 1909 



BOSTON PUBLIC 




/ 



BEATRICE MANSFIELD 



PREFACE 

THIS work was undertaken with the intention of 
making a permanent record of the events and achieve- 
ments of Richard Mansfield's life and of presenting 
through them the personal side of his large and complex 
character as he revealed it to his intimates. The only 
real acquaintance the public had with him was through 
the personality of the characters which he acted. No 
attempt has been made to give a searching analysis 
of these characterisations, for this is a record of facts 
rather than of opinions. Wherever this purpose ap- 
pears to have been departed from, it has been only with 
the idea of offering side-lights which would illuminate 
the facts. 

The narrative is based first of all on the confidences of 
his wife; on my own intimate acquaintance extending 
over the last ten years of his life; and on unreserved 
access to all his papers and letters. It has been elaborated 
and verified by the generous cooperation of friends and 
collectors in many parts of America and England, to 
whom I beg to offer this word of thanks. As often as 
possible he has been permitted to reveal himself in his 



Vll 



viii PREFACE 

own words, either written or spoken, but his letters, 
which would add to an acquaintance with him, were 
not many, except to his wife and son. To others he 
wrote in the main only brief notes of courtesy, for he 
had an aversion to telling any one what he was going to 
do or to referring to what he had done. As he has 
said, his performance was his essay on his art. 

P. W. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER ONE 

(1857-1860) PAGE 

Birth and parentage Maurice Mansfield and Erminia Rudersdorff Her 
girlhood in Dublin The Duchess Sophia of Baden Studies in Italy 
Her debut and career Her imperious character 3 

CHAPTER TWO 

(1861-1872) 

Maurice Mansfield moves his family to St. John's Wood Richie "ap- 
pears" at Crystal Palace The children are sent to Jena Richard's 
recollection of his grand-uncle At school in Switzerland and in 
France Boyish aspirations Accomplishments At Derby School 
Meets Henry Irving Acts for the first time Plans to go to India 10 

CHAPTER THREE 

(1872-1873) 

Madame Rudersdorff comes to America Richard follows Early ac- 
quaintances in Boston First experiments in finding himself Clerks 
in Eben Jordan's office Boyish pranks at home Hunting the eggs 
The new prima donna The country house at Lakeside Teresa 
Carreno's joke He becomes a musical and dramatic critic Leaves 
home to avoid his mother's temper Showing Von Billow off . . 27 

CHAPTER FOUR 

(1873-1876) 

He opens a studio Teaches languages Celebrates his success The 
Sock and Buskin Club Acts Beau Farintosh in "School" The Vin- 
cent Crummels Entertainment Improvising a role A clash on new 
"business" The Buskins disband He leaves for England ... 43 

CHAPTER FIVE 

(1876-1878) 

His apprenticeship in the theatre Joins the German Reed Entertain- 
ments Faints on the first night His mother cuts off his allowance 
Poverty and hunger In provincial companies Sings a duet for Gil- 
bert and Sullivan Plays Sir Joseph Porter in "H. M. S. Pinafore" 
on tour Denied sixpence increase in salary and returns to London 57 

ix 



x CONTENTS 

CHAPTER SIX 
(1878-1880) 

A dream and its realisation Plays Sir Joseph again on tour The first 
performance of "The Pirates of Penzance" Improvising patter 
music Plays John Wellington Wells in "The Sorcerer" The spur 
of discontent Resigns Back again in London 75 

CHAPTER SEVEN 

(1880-1882) 

Joins the company at the Globe His first parts in London News of his 
mother's death Anecdotes of Madame Rudersdorff Acts Brigard 
in "Frou-Frou" Woolstone in "Not Registered" The Inn-Keeper 
in " The Mascotte " A call from Jordan Sails for America . . 79 

CHAPTER EIGHT 

(1882) 

The New York stage as Mansfield found it His first American appear- 
ance Dromez in "Les Manteaux Noirs" at the Standard Vedder 
father and son in "Rip Van Winkle"- The Lord Chancellor in 
"lolanthe" A sprained ankle causes him to return to New York 
Joins the Union Square Theatre Company Rehearses Tirandel in 
"A Parisian Romance" The role of the Baron Chevrial is given 
to him His premonition of the result 90 

CHAPTER NINE 

(1883) 

His first appearance as Chevrial The criticism of old Maurice Stra- 
kosch Famous in a night Sustenance substituted for stimulants 
On tour with the Union Square Company Appears in Boston for 
the first time as a professional artist 105 

CHAPTER TEN 
(1883-1885) 

With the Union Square Company in San Francisco and on tour east- 
ward Riflardini in "French Flats" Purchases the rights to "A 
Parisian Romance" Begins his first starring tour Struggles and 
disaster Joins the company at the Madison Square Theatre and acts 
Von Dornfeld in "Alpine Roses" In "La Vie Parisienne" at the 
Bijou To England and back Baron de Marsac in "Victor Du- 
rand" at Wallack's Nasoni in "Gasparone" at the Standard Sum- 
mer in London Experiments Returns to America and creates 
Kraft in "In Spite of All" 115 

CHAPTER ELEVEN 

(1886-1887) 

The stellar temperament Sings KoKo in Boston Originality Creates 
Prince Karl at the Boston Museum Acts Prince Karl in New York 
A summer run Beatrice Cameron joins his company "I Love 
the Woods" Touring in "Prince Karl" Diffident about thanks 126 



CONTENTS xi 

CHAPTER TWELVE 

(1887-1888) PAGB 

Creates Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at the Boston Museum His own views 
on the dual character Creates De Jadot in his own "Monsieur" at 
the Madison Square Another summer run On tour with a reper- 
toire Mr. Hyde at a midnight supper Henry Irving suggests a Lon- 
don season at the Lyceum 143 

CHAPTER THIRTEEN 
(1888-1889) 

In London Rivals Begins season at the Lyceum with "Dr. Jekyll and 
Mr. Hyde" Beatrice Cameron produces "Lesbia" He acts Chev- 
rial and Prince Karl Attendance poor Plans to retrieve Leases 
the Globe A benefit at Derby School Decides to act the Duke of 
Gloster In retirement at Bournemouth 158 

CHAPTER FOURTEEN 
(1889) 

Produces "King Richard III" Conquering a riotous pit Smashing tra- 
ditions His note on King Richard Making friends A letter from 
Robert Buchanan A visit from his old master Returns to America 173 

CHAPTER FIFTEEN 

(1889-1890) 

Acts "King Richard III" in America Public not ready for his Gloster 
"Master and Man" Miss Cameron in "A Doll's House" A 
reputation for eccentricity His apology for the conscientious artist 188 

CHAPTER SIXTEEN 
(1890-1891) 

Searching for unhackneyed characters Produces "Beau Brummell" A 
run of one hundred and fifty performances Tour Susceptibility 
to kindness A snuff-box from the Kendals A note from Ellen 
Terry Auctions his treasures An invitation performance in Wash- 
ington A concert of Mansfield compositions 199 

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN 
(1891-1892) 

Entering a period of failures and half-successes "Don Juan" Prepar- 
ing productions "Nero" Associating the role with the actor As 
to criticism A plea for poetry on the stage Tittlebat Titmouse in 
"Ten Thousand a Year" A jump across the continent Two pict- 
ures of reading a play Impressions from a car-window A rose 
matinee The influence of light on the stage The countenance 
"The Storm" The voice His physical limitations 216 

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN 
(1892-1893) 

Marriage to Beatrice Cameron Acts Arthur Dimmesdale in "The 
Scarlet Letter" Benjamin Harrison An open letter on Shakes- 
pearian productions 238 



xii CONTENTS 

CHAPTER NINETEEN 
(1893-1894) 

PAGE 

Acts Shylock His performance of this role was a growth Accent Bold 

strokes He buys a New York home Nicknames 249 

CHAPTER TWENTY 
(1894-1895) 

Where the acted plays come from "Arms and the Man" "The Em- 
peror Napoleon" Letters from Bernard Shaw English appreci- 
ation of Mansfield Impediments to his return to act in London . 258 

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE 

(1895) 

Becomes the manager of a New York theatre The Garrick "The King 
of Peru" A chase in the park and its result Mansfield "presents" 
the Hollands "Thrilby" 111 with typhoid An interview with 
Joseph Jefferson and an afternoon on a Staten Island ferry-boat 
"The Story of Rodion, the Student" Mansfield on his roles Gives 
up the Garrick . . . . 267 

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO 

(1896-1898) 

"Castle Sombras" -Extemporising comedy A. M. Palmer "The 
Devil's Disciple" Beatrice Cameron Mansfield retires from the stage 
A satire on press publicity Fighting the Theatrical Syndicate 
Outwitting legal persecutors In pursuit of play pirates .... 280 

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE 

(1898) 

Some of Mansfield's pen productions "Blown Away" "The Charge at 
Dargai Gap" "The Eagle's Song" "The Sinner's Song ""Bring 
Me that Coat" A dedication On the platform His first Chicago 
address "The First Violin" A curtain speech ...... 294 

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR 

(1898) 

The arrival of "Cyrano de Bergerac" To London to see Coquelin 
George Gibbs Mansfield Rehearsals " Cyrano de Bergerac" pro- 
duced Effect of his triumph Threshold of the golden period . 311 

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE 

(1889-1900) 

On tour as Cyrano A twilight performance in Richmond and a "milk- 
man's matinee" in Texas The Gross suit Letters to his wife 
"The Richard Mansfield Company as Pirates" Mrs. Mansfield acts 



CONTENTS xiii 

PAQB 

Raina for one night only Anecdotes Kidnapping a naval officer 
Feeding a gourmand Monotony of excitement Nervous collapse 
Off for a cruise Audiences 327 

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX 

(1900-1901) 

"King Henry V" His reasons for producing it Rehearsals under diffi- 
culties The production Mansfield interprets the character He 
writes of the condition of the stage in America Coquelin on Mans- 
field's achievement with "King Henry V" Amenities Paraphras- 
ing speeches 348 

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN 
(1901-1902) 

"Beaucaire" His benefit for the Actors' Home Mansfield and benefits 
To England on a holiday and back again He becomes a property 
holder in New London and presents The Grange to his wife . . 365 

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT 

(1902-1906) 

Mansfield and his boy Make-believe His love of children Letters to 
Gibbs An interview with Mr. Santa Claus Dinner with Mr. and 
Mrs. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table The cam- 
paigns of Wienerschnitzel and Dinkelspiegel Unloading a cargo of 
love and kisses Gibbs' Christmas box 373 

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE 

(1902-1904) 

Brutus in "Julius Caesar" Emancipation from tradition The boys at 
Fernbank Lyman B. Glover B. D. Stevens "Old Heidelberg" 
Aversion to photographs in character Temper "Ivan the Ter- 
rible" Keeping in the atmosphere while off the scene Acting Ivan 
with his foot in a plaster cast On tour To California again . . 395 

CHAPTER THIRTY 

(1904-1905) 

Campaigning begins to tell Characters he planned to act His attitude 
toward certain roles he did not act Revives his repertoire Shylock 
to an audience of one Changes in the "business" of Richard III 
Shylock's accent Intuitions in characterisation Preparations for 
a performance Distress as Hyde A biblical repertoire "The Mis- 
anthrope" Superstitions His thirteenth wedding anniversary . 415 

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE 

(1905-1906) 

A summer of illness " Don Carlos " Poetical embellishments More ad- 
dresses Discipline on the stage As to productions Creating a role 



xiv CONTENTS 

PAGE 

"Acting acting" Acting in every-day life A warning from his 
physicians San Francisco under difficulties Triumph Christmas 
on the train Bernhardt offers him her Paris theatre Announces 
his last years on the stage 435 

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO 

(1906-1907) 

On memorising Chicago's affection "Peer Gynt" Life as a battle 
His last Christmas A midnight rehearsal at New Year's He con- 
cludes his New York engagement by acting the Baron Chevrial 
His last words on the stage 458 

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE 

(1907) 

His health breaks down The company disbands Off to England for re- 
cuperation Longings for home The return At home at "Seven 
Acres" His delight and his plans Death Tributes 475 

Bibliography 485 

Index 491 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

Richard Mansfield Frontispiece 

From a photograph by Misted, 1898 

FACING PAGE 

Erminia Rudersdorff Mansfield 6 

From an oil painting in the possession of Mrs. Mansfield 

Richard Mansfield as a Young Boy 12 

Richard Mansfield as a Student at the Derby School ... 22 

Dr. Walter Clark, Head Master at Derby 22 

The Derby School 24 

The Big School-room in which Mr. Mansfield First Acted 

Before the Public 24 

Erminia Rudersdorff Mansfield 28 

From a photograph in the collection of W. C. Bamburgh 

Richard Mansfield as Beau Farintosh in Robertson's "School" 46 
From a photograph in the collection of T. Henry Hooper 

Richard Mansfield, in The German Reed Entertainments . 60 

Richard Mansfield as Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B 68 

From a drawing by J. Dimsdale, 1879 

Richard Mansfield as Baron Chevrial in "A Parisian Ro- 
mance 106 

Richard Mansfield as Baron Chevrial in "A Parisian Ro- 
mance" no 

From a painting by Edgar Cameron 

Richard Mansfield, in 1884 122 

From a photograph taken in Boston 

Richard Mansfield in "Prince Karl" 132 

Miss Beatrice Cameron 136 

Richard Mansfield in "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" .... 146 

XV 



xvi ILLUSTRATIONS 

FACING PAGE 

Richard Mansfield in "King Richard III" 174 

Richard Mansfield in "King Richard III" 184 

Richard Mansfield in "Beau Brummell" 202 

Richard Mansfield in "Beau Brummell" 206 

Richard Mansfield in "Don Juan" 218 

Richard Mansfield Reading His Own Play to His Company . 228 

Beatrice Cameron as Hester Prynne 236 

Richard Mansfield as Arthur Dimmesdale 244 

Richard Mansfield as Shylock 252 

Richard Mansfield as Captain Bluntschli in "Arms and the 

Man" 260 

Richard Mansfield as Napoleon Bonaparte 264 

From a photograph by the Baker Art Gallery, Columbus, O. 

Richard Mansfield as Dick Dudgeon in "The Devil's Disci- 
ple" 284 

Richard Mansfield as Eugen Courvoisier in "The First Vio- 
lin" 308 

Richard Mansfield and His Baby Boy, George Gibbs Mansfield 316 

A Dress Rehearsal of Act I of "Cyrano de Bergerac" . . . 318 

Richard Mansfield in "Cyrano de Bergerac" 322 

Richard Mansfield in "Cyrano de Bergerac" 324 

A Drawing at the Head of One of Mr. Mansfield's Letters . 332 

Richard Mansfield as Captain Bluntschli in "Arms and the 

Man" 340 

From a photograph by the Baker Art Gallery, Columbus, O. 

Richard Mansfield as King Henry V 352 

"The Grange," New London, Conn 370 

"The Grange," New London, Conn 372 

"He and Gibbs were boon companions . . . They indulged 

in extravagant vagaries by the hour" 374 

"The spirit of youth hung over The Grange . . . Nothing 
delighted him more than to have young people about him " .376 



ILLUSTRATIONS xvii 

FACING PAGE 

George Gibbs Mansfield as Knight Golden Ebony . . . . 382 

Mr. Mansfield on the Steps of "403" 384 

"Amorita," Mr. Mansfield's yacht 392 

Richard Mansfield as Brutus 400 

Richard Mansfield as Shylock 420 

From an oil painting by Edgar Cameron 

Richard Mansfield as Alceste 430 

Richard Mansfield as Don Carlos 436 

Richard Mansfield. One of His Latest Pictures 450 

Richard Mansfield in "Peer Gynt" 464 

Mr. Mansfield's House on Riverside Drive, New York Bed- 
room 476 

Mr. Mansfield's House on Riverside Drive, New York Music 

Room 476 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 

THE MAN AND THE ACTOR 



" Perhaps the saddest spot in the sad life of the 
actor is to be forgotten. Great paintings live to com- 
memorate great painters ; the statues of sculptors are 
their monuments ; and books are the inscriptions of 
authors. But who shall say when this generation has 
passed away how Yorick played ? . . . When the 
curtain has fallen for the last time and only the un- 
seen spirit hovers in the wings, what book will speak 
of all the mummer did and suffered in his time?" 

RICHARD MANSFIELD. 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 

THE MAN AND THE ACTOR 

CHAPTER ONE 

(1857-1860) 

Birth and parentage Maurice Mansfield and Erminia Rudersdorff 
Her girlhood in Dublin The Duchess Sophia of Baden- 
Studies in Italy Her Debut and Career Her imperious 
character. 

RICHARD MANSFIELD was born on May 24, 1857, in 
Berlin. His parents' home was in London, but his 
mother, who was a celebrated prima donna, had a few 
weeks before his birth reached Berlin in the course of 
her professional engagements. 

His father was Maurice Mansfield, a wine merchant, 
in Lime Street, London. He was a short, portly little 
man with a ruddy complexion. He died comparatively 
young, when just past forty. He was long remembered 
by his neighbours as being kindly and sprightly, shrewd 
at business, genial in companionship, but in the cath- 
olicity of his interests in no way limited to the commercial 
purlieus of Lime Street. 

He spoke French and German almost as fluently as he 
did English. Little poems kept in the family for years 



2 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1857 

after testified to a certain facility in the making of verses. 
They were largely translations. It has been said that 
he played the violin. This is true, but he was an amateur, 
and when he played it was usually to the distress of his 
family. He had two quite precious violins. One of 
them was afterward purchased by Vieuxtemps, and was 
used by him in his public performances. 

He loved the companionship of men and women, but 
he approached society through the gates of Bohemia, and 
found his friends among men and women of gifts and 
accomplishment. When the evening shadows signalled 
the hour for the shutters to go up, he went forth for an 
evening in the cafes, where he knew he would find the 
musicians and singers and painters, Continental as well 
as British, with whom his unaffected good humour and a 
certain gay wit made him welcome. 

On one of his visits to the Continent, in 1850, he met 
Madame Erminia Rudersdorff, whose wonderful voice, 
style, and dramatic temperament had raised her to a 
position at the elbow of the greatest contemporary sing- 
ers. He at once became a suitor for her hand. When 
he returned to London his former haunts knew him no 
more, except when he came to hear of her from the latest 
arrival from the Continent. Letters of great ardour and 
perseverance followed, and finally he was rewarded with 
a message to come and get her. They were married in 
the spring of 1851, at the conclusion of her season, and 
came back to London to a comfortable little home in 
Upper Berkeley Street, Permian Square. 

This was Erminia RudersdorfFs second marriage. 
When quite a young girl she met and was married to Dr. 
Kiichenmeister, a professor of mathematics, astronomy 
and philosophy in the University of Frankfort. Although 



i8 5 7] PARENTAGE 3 

they studied together and she evinced wonderful grasp of 
the science of the heavenly bodies, his pedantic habits 
suited little to her dramatic temperament, and they soon 
agreed to a separation. But from the day of her second 
marriage she and the life-loving little Mansfield were 
the happiest comrades. He loved her, petted her, and 
humoured her in the elaborate fashion she demanded, 
and she maintained a conspicuous position which flat- 
tered and delighted him. 

Erminia RudersdorfF inherited her great talent from 
her father, Joseph RudersdorfF. He was born in the city 
of Amsterdam, in the year 1799. From his earliest years 
he manifested the musical genius which gave him after- 
ward such a notable position. His instrument was the 
violin. He appeared in public at the age of eight, playing 
a concerto by Pleyel. In 1822 he entered the service of 
the Prince Bariatinsky, for whom he became concert- 
meister in Ivanowsky, in the Ukraine, Southern Russia. 
He had married two years before, and here Erminia was 
born, December 12, 1822. His two other daughters, 
Agnese and Matilde, were born later in Homburg, where 
he went in 1825 as concertmeister. From Homburg 
he took his family to Dublin, and there they lived for 
more than twenty years. In 1851 he moved to Berlin, 
where he conducted the orchestra successively at Som- 
mer's, the Kemper Hof, and at Kroll's. Joseph Ruders- 
dorfF died at Kbnigsberg in 1866. It is of record that 
during the period of the six years from 1851 to 1857 he 
conducted thirteen hundred concerts and played six 
hundred solos. 

Agnese married and died when quite young. Matilde 
remained a spinster. In her later years she became the 
protegee of her nephew, Richard, and at the time of his 



4 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1857 

death was living in the city of Jena, Saxe- Weimar, Ger- 
many. Her letters were uniquely amusing, for though 
she had known English as though it were her native 
tongue during her girlhood in Dublin, she later lived so 
long in Germany that she wrote English with astonishing 
variations on the idiom. 

The girls were all gifted, and their home was one of 
the musical centres of the Irish capital. Erminia, how- 
ever, displayed the most conspicuous talent. She longed 
for a career, and her father would gladly have sent her 
to the French and Italian masters had not his large family 
and slender purse forbidden. 

In this as in so many other fairy tales of real life there 
was, however, a fairy godmother. When a little girl, 
Erminia had attracted the attention of the Duchess 
Sophia of Baden, at whose court she spent much of the 
earlier period of her life and with whom she grew to be a 
great favourite. She recounted many amusing anecdotes 
of her visits then and in later years to the Baden court. 
On one occasion the Prince Napoleon (Plon-Plon) was 
sojourning in Baden-Baden and became much enamoured 
of M'lle RudersdorfF. The duchess was a very severe 
disci plinarienne, and when the Prince went so far as to 
bring the regimental band to serenade her young guest, 
she had him incarcerated for this breach of martial eti- 
quette. The Prince and Madame RudersdorfF met many 
years afterward in Paris during the reign of Napoleon III. 
"Ah," said the Prince, "I remember you very well, mad- 
ame, for you had me locked up once." 

Another of her anecdotes of the days at the Baden 
court was thus recounted by her son, Richard, in The 
Theatre, a London Magazine: t 

"The Duchess Sophia was a very good housekeeper- 



i8 5 7] THE KING OF WURTEMBERG 5 

some said she practised economy to the extent of par- 
simony. Certain it is that Miss Greville and M'lle 
Rudersdorff used to beg the champagne from the major- 
domo for the King of Wurtemberg on the occasion of his 
visits to the Baden court. When her royal highness had 
visitors her favourite refreshment, in the shape of a hard- 
boiled egg in a tasse de bouillon, was invariably handed 
round. Not to partake of it was to incur the displeasure 
of the duchess. When the bluff old King of Wurtemberg 
arrived the bouillon with the egg made its appearance. It 
required practice to eat the egg with a spoon, it was so 
very hard and so very slippery. The king could not 
manage it; it was pitiable to see him driving the egg 
round and round the bowl with his spoon. M'lle Ruders- 
dorff, who was behind his chair, ventured to advise him. 
'Your majesty must not do it like that,' she whispered; 
'your majesty should thrust your spoon suddenly into the 
egg; it is no good shilly-shallying with it.' ' Danke 
schon,' said his majesty, * ach, es ist ja dock gar zu schreck- 
lichr Summoning all his courage the king made a drive 
at the egg, the spoon slipped, and the egg flew out of the 
cup and fell into the Duchess Sophia's lap. The king 
roared with laughter and the duchess looked highly in- 
censed." 

But the stern, eccentric old duchess really had a kind 
and generous heart. With great sacrifice Joseph Ruders- 
dorff managed to send Erminia to Paris, where she studied 
for a short while with Bordogni. Instead of returning to 
Dublin when her slender means were exhausted, she ac- 
cepted the Duchess Sophia's invitation to come again to 
Baden. Her friend was so delighted with the develop- 
ment of her voice that she declared there was a great 
career before her if she would persevere. In those days 



6 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1857 

the ambition of every aspirant to opera was a course under 
the Chevalier de Micheroux, who perfected Clara No- 
vello, Catherine Hayes, and Pasta; and the duchess's 
patronage and generosity enabled Erminia to go to Milan 
and study under the great maestro. 

De Micheroux gave her his most interested attention, 
and in a short time declared she was ready for the public. 
He, himself, arranged her debut at Coblentz in "Lucia di 
Lammermoor." She was scarcely more than seventeen 
at the time. 

Mendelssohn came to hear the young singer, and so 
great was his admiration for her that he engaged her to 
sing the soprano music in the first public performance of 
his "Lobgesang" at Leipzig, June 25, 1840. Out of this 
performance sprang a friendship with the composer, 
which was ended only by his death. 

Operatic engagements were sung the next year at 
Carlsruhe and Frankfort, and she made conspicuous 
successes in the roles of Agatha, Reiza, Valentine, Isa- 
bella, and Elvira ("Puritani"), though she sang others. She 
was much admired by King William II. of Holland, and 
at his request sang every year at The Hague. 

After the birth of her first child, Felix, she appeared, 
throughout the winters of 1852, 1853, and 1854, prin- 
cipally at the Friedrich Wilhelm Stadt Theatre, Berlin. 
There was a vogue for the lighter French compositions at 
the time, and she sang with great success the light operas 
of Herold, Thomas, Auber, Adam, and Boieldieu. She 
was highly popular as the Juliette of Bellini and in Lort- 
zig's "Undine." During these years she appeared also 
at Aix-la-Chapelle, Cologne, Dantzig, and The Hague, 
hurrying back to London whenever opportunity offered. 
She was equally at home in London and Berlin at this 




ERMINIA RUDERSDORFF MANSFIELD 

From an oil painting in the possrsvjon of Mr,. Mansfield 



i8 57 ] MME. RUDERSDORFF ON THE STAGE 7 

time, with her husband in the former city and her father 
and sisters now re-established in a home in the German 
capital. 

Her first operatic appearance in London was not made 
until May 23, 1854, when she sang Donna Anna in Ger- 
man at Drury Lane. In this, as well as in her subsequent 
parts of Constance in Mozart's " Entfuhrung," Margaret 
of Valois, Fidelio, Agatha, and (in English) as Elvira in 
"Masaniello," she was received with a success that made 
her a fixture at the Royal Opera during the whole of the 
next winter, and she reappeared there frequently there- 
after. Her conspicuous successes were Donna Anna, 
Elvira, Jemmy, Bertha, and Nathalia ("L'Etoile du 
Nord"). She sang in English for a few nights at St. 
James's Theatre in Loder's opera, " Raymond and 
Agnes." 

It was in oratorio, however, that Erminia Rudersdorff 
was best appreciated and achieved her most conspicuous 
triumphs. She had a powerful voice of considerable 
range. This, coupled with remarkable certainty of 
execution and thorough musicianship, enabled her to 
take the position she held for thirty years as one of the 
first oratorio singers of Europe. Her appearance was 
during a long period the feature of the great triennial 
festivals at Gloucester, Worcester, and Hereford. In 
Cologne she sang under Ferdinand Hiller, at Leipzig in 
the Gewandhaus concerts, and at the Birmingham fes- 
tivals, where she created the soprano role in "The Woman 
of Samaria," by Sir Julius Benedict. In London she was 
always heard either at Exeter Hall under Sir Michael 
Costa or at St. James's Hall under Joseph Barnby. She 
was the soprano of that pre-eminent middle Victorian 
quartette of which the other members were Mme. Patey, 



8 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1857 

contralto; Sims Reeves, tenor; and Charles Santley, 
basso. 

It is to this day a tradition in England and in Germany 
that her singing of the Inflammatus from "Stabat Mater,' 
the part of the Widow in "Elijah," and " Rejoice Greatly" 
and "I Know That my Redeemer Liveth," from "The 
Messiah," has never been excelled. At the Handel Festi- 
vals especially her voice would tell out with wonderful 
effect against the powerful band and chorus. 

When the ban against the secular performance of 
sacred music was finally raised in Paris, she was invited 
to sing the soprano role in the first oratorio, "The Mes- 
siah," ever sung in the French capital. 

Other notable achievements will confirm her place in 
musical history. She first sang Signor Randegger's scena, 
'Medea," at the Gewandhaus concerts in Leipzig in 
1869, and composed the libretto to his cantata, "Fri- 
dolin," founded on Schiller's "Gang nach dem Eisen- 
hammer" which was performed first at the Birmingham 
Festival in 1873. Her industry and her devotion to her 
art were further proved by her revivals of Mozart's fine 
scenas, "Ahi lo provide" and "Misera dove son," and of 
Handel's air, "O Sleep," from "Semele;" by the intro- 
duction of Danish melodies in their native tongue, and the 
popularizing of the Spanish songs of Yradier. She read 
or improvised at the piano with equal facility, for Thai- 
berg had boasted her one of his most proficient pupils. 
In giving encores at her own concerts or at the festivals 
where she was the star, she often played her own accom- 
paniments. Then she produced a unity between the 
voice and the instrument which, once heard, was never 
forgotten. 

In stature Madame RudersdorfF was somewhat below 



1860] HIS MOTHER'S TEMPERAMENT 9 

the average height, but she had a commanding presence 
and easily dominated her environment. Her hair was 
raven black, her eye brilliant and expressive, and her 
countenance was extraordinarily mobile in the denotement 
of the elemental passions. Her voice was a soprano of 
great power, but of not always even sweetness. Highly 
coloured music and markedly dramatic characters called 
out her best resources. 

She was charged with enthusiasm, energy, and deter- 
mination at all times. When in later life she taught her 
celebrated method, she was called "the musical whirl- 
wind." Every one who met her received an impression, 
but the impressions were manifold as her moods, and 
they obeyed every fluctuation of a singularly mercurial 
temperament. Her grand manner was never put aside. 
Tender and sympathetic as she was, these qualities were 
allowed to appear only as attributes of an otherwise 
imperious character. She enjoyed the distinction of her 
position, and enforced it when she felt it was necessary; 
but below the high chin there was a warm heart and a 
hand that did not know how to close except in the grasp 
of another. 



CHAPTER TWO 

(1861-1872) 

Maurice Mansfield moves his family to St. John's Wood Richie 
"appears" at Crystal Palace The children are sent to Jena 
Richard's recollection of his grand-uncle At school in Swit- 
zerland and in France Boyish aspirations Accomplishments 
At Derby School Meets Henry Irving Acts for the first time 
Plans to go to India. 

THE Mansfields' little house in Portman Square began 
to pinch soon after they moved into it. The first child, 
Felix, was born there in 1852. Two years later a daugh- 
ter, Greta, arrived. Richard came upon the scene in 
1857, and Harry was born after another interval of two 
years. 

The better to nest their brood, Maurice Mansfield and 
his wife began looking about for a larger house. Her 
position added its demands, but her income helped -to 
make the move possible. They wanted the children to 
have a play-ground as well as a play-room, so they ex- 
tended their search into the outskirts of the city. Their 
friend, Therese Tietjens, another of the great singers of 
the day, was cosily bestowed in St. John's Wood, and she 
probably beckoned them into the northern district. 
After a long and dispiriting hunt their objections capitu- 
lated to a well-set dwelling of inviting space and quiet 
dignity, with an ample garden, in Finchley Road. 



IO 



1861] A MUSICAL RENDEZVOUS 11 

The " Mansfield house," as it was known to the neigh- 
bours and the " RudersdorfF house," as it was remem- 
bered by the musical world, for Maurice Mansfield's wife 
always retained her maiden name in her public life- 
became a rendezvous for the musical visitors in the 
British capital. 

Madame Schumann, the widow of Robert Schumann, 
came and played pianoforte duets with Hiller. The fiery 
Trebelli, her liege Bettini, " ecole d'orgue" Lemmens, 
Randegger, Balshir, and Chatterton, harpist to the Queen, 
were constant visitors. Madame RudersdorfF went on 
Sunday evenings to her friend Mme. Tietjens, and they 
played an old German game called "Glocke und Ham- 
mer" (Bell and Hammer), which Erminia had probably 
learned from the Duchess Sophia. They sang together 
a great deal. Poor little Maurice tried pathetically to play 
the violin, but his wife usually asked him to play it out 
of the house. 

It is a tradition among Madame RudersdorfFs children 
that their mother was not always impartial. Richie as 
Richard was called when a lad is said to have been her 
pet. The reason given was his resemblance to his father. 
But this was not less true of Greta. In fact, the Mans- 
field children represented a curious distribution of the 
family traits. Felix, the eldest, and Harry, the youngest, 
resembled their mother, but had their father's meek, 
amiable, placid disposition. Greta and Richard were the 
image of their father, but seemed infused with the seething 
temperament of their mother. 

Richie's public life began in his fourth year. His 
mother was dressing for a concert in which she was to 
sing at Crystal Palace. He wanted to go along, and 
neither refusal nor threats dried his tearful determination. 



12 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1861 

The mother may have been just a wee bit proud of her 
wilful boy. Anyway she consented. He was hurriedly 
dressed in his best black velvet skirt and coat, with a wide, 
embroidered collar falling over his shoulders, and rattled 
away with her behind the horses for the long ride to the 
south. He was taken into her dressing-room. The 
experience was entirely new to the youngster. He was 
much awed by the vastness of things, the lights, the strange 
noises, the apparent confusion, and he clung close to his 
mother. 

When the stage manager came to the door to say that 
Madame's turn had arrived and that the orchestra was 
waiting, she strode majestically forth, as was her custom, 
from her own room straight to the centre of the stage. 
Her appearance was greeted by a roar of applause, which 
she acknowledged with queenly bows. She did not observe 
a subdued ripple of laughter, however, and signalled the 
conductor to begin. The music quieted the applause, 
but it did not hush the increasing titter of which she soon 
became painfully conscious. Glancing about to see what 
could be the occasion, she discovered Richie beside but 
somewhat behind her, frightened to stone, but firmly 
clutching the hem of her long train which his little hands 
had seized as she swept away from him into the presence 
of the audience. This was Richard Mansfield's first 
appearance on the stage. 

Though the mother's engagements took her continually 
away from England, this disturbed the unity of the family 
but little, for there was always the glowing anticipation 
of her return to her children with vivid stories of triumphs 
and adventures, and with wonderful souvenirs of the 
great cities beyond the Channel. 

The first break was made by the death of their father. 




RICHARD MANSFIELD AS A YOUNG B< >Y 



HIS FATHER'S DEATH 13 

Maurice Mansfield died in his home in Finchley Road, 
in 1 86 1, and was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, near 
the entrance on the right, and a black marble shaft, 
erected by his widow, marks his grave. In the same yard, 
neighbours in death as in life, rests his old friend Tietjens. 
He had occupied a small place in the world, but a large 
place in the heart of the celebrated mother of his children. 
Madame Rudersdorff never ceased to mourn her devoted 
Maurice, and she did not marry again. 

Richard was only four years old when his father died. 
He was too young for his memory to have taken any 
impressions, much less for his character to have received 
influences. 

On the mother's shoulders now fell the undivided duty 
of home-maker and provider, and of educating her chil- 
dren. Her position in the artistic world was assured. 
Engagements in most of the first opera houses and at 
most of the great festivals of Great Britain and Europe 
were to be had for the acceptance. The entire winter 
after her husband died, Mme. RudersdorfF sang in Berlin. 
There were occasional visits home to the children, who 
were in the care of Aunt Matilde and an English gover- 
ness. The latter was unkind to Richard, she was not 
sympathetic, and the child was checked in all his little 
desires. It left a scar in his memory. But it was this, 
probably, that bred his own deep and tender sympathy 
for children and his desire to make them as happy as 
possible. 

The mother's arrangements met only half of the prob- 
lem. It gave her family a mere home by proxy and made 
an unsatisfactory provision for their education. Madame 
RudersdorfF spoke English, German, French, Italian, 
Spanish, Russian, and Danish. The first three were in- 



i 4 RICHARD MANSFIELD 

dispensable to a Continental career, and she arranged a 
little school campaign which would develop and polish 
the Babel begun at home. 

In Jena she had an uncle who was a judge. The city 
occupied a central situation in relation to her tours; she 
could reach her brood easily, her uncle would give them 
a grandfatherly eye, and thither the children were sent, 
the governess accompanying to give especial attention to 
Master Richie and his little brother. At first they were 
all bestowed in an apartment, but soon the boys were sent 
as boarders to a private school, situated Am Graben, kept 
by Professor Zenker, a famous master with children. His 
school was built over the crypt of an ancient monastery, 
and the building was occupied by Napoleon after the 
battle of Jena. The Emperor had a meal with his gen- 
erals in the very room which the youngsters used for a 
study. 

Professor Zenker was fond of the drama, and even 
wrote a number of plays which, however, served no further 
purpose than to release his impulse for this fascinating 
work. Once a year a play was performed by his pupils 
in the great hall of the school. Relatives and friends 
were invited, and the occasion was decidedly the event of 
the year. 

The elder students acted in the plays, the little boys 
looked on. While the Mansfields were in the school two 
of Schiller's dramas were given, "Wallenstein's Lager" 
and " Don Carlos." Felix Mansfield had a role in the lat- 
ter, acting Don Carlos. Richie was too young to take part 
or to do more than sit well up front and let the mystery 
and wonder of it all play what pranks it could with his 
budding imagination. It was not that he was without 
artistic instinct. One day he found a bucket of colour 



i86 3 ] HIS GRANDUNCLE 15 

and painted the classroom door a vivid green. He was 
so proud of this achievement that he put his initials to it, 
which led to his discovery and punishment. 

These were happy times. One of the few definite 
souvenirs of them that Richard afterward confessed to, 
however, was the recollection of the fixed days when the 
governess came and took him to visit the home of his 
granduncle. There the old gentleman told him wonder 
tales of the fairies and goblins in the mountains and fed 
him goose drippings on brown bread, with an occasional 
sip from his own brimming stein. 

This uncle Theophilus Beyer by name was no unim- 
portant man either in his profession or in his friends. He 
met the Emperor Napoleon in Jena, he was the friend of 
Schiller and Goethe, and the latter wrote of him as " my 
dear Theophilus." How well the boy came to know the 
old gentleman appears in a letter written by Richard 
(March II, 1894) to A. E. Dithmar, in which, after touch- 
ing on the narrow Continental life and characters reflected 
in Ibsen's plays, he continued: 

I know the phase of life he deals with well for I have 
lived within the narrow circle of a small German town 
and I know, too, these petty men and women well their 
little vices, their little ambitions, their little struggles and 
bickerings, and all the mighty fuss of their births and 
funerals. I had a granduncle, on my mother's side, who 
resided in Jena. He was a }ustiz-Rath and a Doctor of 
Law; he was an ancient, stiff, starched man, who wore 
an antiquated choker, and the points of his collar touched 
his ears; he was all dried up, and he was turned out stiff 
and starched every morning by his Hochwohlgeborne 
Frau, with the loop of his black frock coat sticking up 
behind as far as the brim of his mediaeval tile and which 
gave him the appearance of being all prepared and ready 



16 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1863 

to be hung up again to be dried when he got home. The 
Justiz-Rath and his Hochwohl etc., etc., lived just the 
life Ibsen describes, and it came to him (the Justiz- 
Rath) late in life to fall in love with our governess an 
English girl, who was dying of inanition in Jena, whither 
she had journeyed with the lot of us children. The 
wretched man broke into poetry, which he wrote by the 
hour (when he wasn't hanging up), and there was such 
a pother over it all in Jena that the poor man died 
quite stiff and stark of a broken heart and small glasses 
of home-made wine and stale cakes and coffee and klat- 
scherei. The poetry was all left to me after the Hoch- 
wohlgeborne had joined the Justiz-Rath somewhere or 
other (wherever he is hanging up) together with some 
table damask and a case of ancient knives and forks and 
spoons but it is beyond the power of human cunning to 
decipher the Justiz-Rath's effusions poor old man! I 
see him now as he came on a summer's evening across 
the fields to meet the governess with us at her heels on 
his return from a neighbouring village where he had 
trudged to investigate the cottage of a hideous miser who 
had been murdered in the night. And young as I was 
then, I remember his description of the poor murdered 
thing's abode; the dirt three inches thick on the floors, 
mixed up with money; the oak rafter over the dead man's 
bed clotted with blood, and a tuft of gray hair, and the 
bed itself! and a cracked cup on a chair with an ounce 
of coffee in it all this told and interspersed with bits 
of Schiller and Goethe, by means of which he was wont 
with sly innuendo to express his unutterable love for the 
governess 

Ich liebe dich, mich reizt deine schone gestalt; 
and the next word was blood and murder. 

The greatest event in Richard's Jena experience was 
undoubtedly the night that his mother came and gave a 
concert, supported by the symphony orchestra, and at- 



i86 5 ] IN JENA 17 

tended by the nobility and elite of the city. A box was 
reserved for the children, and they led in the applause 
with frantic partial candour. For years after Madame 
RudersdorfF wore a bracelet given her in commemoration 
of this concert. She gave it to Richard, and it remains 
one of the few souvenirs which escaped the fire which 
later destroyed the mementoes of a great career. 

It was at Jena in the river Saale that Richard took his 
first swimming lessons, a sport he loved and in which he 
was skilful all his life. German was the language of the 
school, and there were French lessons. Of the latter 
there were few, for the general proceeding was to lock 
the instructor out of the classroom. 

Two years in Jena in German atmosphere and with 
none but German playmates had helped the Mansfield 
children admirably in their ready grasp of the native 
tongue, but decidedly at the expense of their English, 
while their French had suffered from the boys' prankish 
liberties with the master. So the next time they crossed 
the Channel it was to go no farther than a little Swiss town 
just beyond the French border. 

At the western end of Lake Neuchatel, in the canton of 
Vaud, there is the little town of Yvredon. Madame 
RudersdorfF had heard of Paul Vodos and the excellence 
of his school here. French was his specialty, but his 
students were almost all English. Here was just the 
place for the children. 

Richard here made his first American acquaintance. 
One of the big boys of the school was a lean slip of an 
American from Cincinnati. His name was "Larry" Pike. 
Years afterward they met again when Richard played in 
his father's theatre Pike's Opera House. It was while 
they were all together at Yvredon that this theatre burned 



1 8 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1865 

down for the first time. Master Pike was the proud 
possessor of a small pistol which made him the envy of 
Richard and the other boys. Doubtless he boasted an 
intimate acquaintance with Indian hunting in the Wild 
West, for it was in some such game that he discharged 
his pistol and nearly killed Richard's brother, Felix. A 
silver watch saved his life. 

The mother seems to have felt the separation from her 
brood more and more, for each change of school drew 
them nearer and nearer home. After a couple of years in 
Switzerland they next went to Bourbourg, a small town 
near Dunkirk in Pas-de-Calais, where France is nearest 
England, and they studied under one Ferdinand Mon- 
teuuis. All that Richard remembered of this experience 
was "a canal where I went fishing." But when preparing 
to act Cyrano de Bergerac, he recalled that the fourth act, 
"the battle-field at Arras," was near his French school. 

Richard's character up to this time had not distinguished 
him perceptibly from other boys. He was active, im- 
pulsive, ready for a lark or an adventure, fond of stories, 
especially tales of princes, kings, and mythological heroes. 
He did not like to play games unless he was the leader; 
and he led the other lads into countries where he was the 
monarch and into battles in which he was the victorious 
general. When the others rebelled he banished them 
and retired to the banks of the canal to read or fish, or 
perhaps, like Peer Gynt, to lie on his back and make 
prophetic cloud pictures. Once the lad was missed and 
a long search was made for him. He was found "on 
his way to the sea." Nothing in nature made the same 
appeal to him that water did. It reflected his own ca- 
pricious spirit, now turbulent, now calm; full of moods 
and mystery and ungovernable unrest. 



i868] POETRY AND MUSIC 19 

.Referring to these school-days on the Continent, he 
once told a friend: "It was then I made my first ac- 
quaintance with the poetry of Goethe, Schiller, and the 
other masters. Under their spell I used to try my hand 
at sonnets and epics on the most exalted, imaginative 
plane. Surely, under the influence of such inspiration, 
these could not have been wholly criminal in a small boy. 
But they were taken from me and torn up in my presence, 
and I was warned not to do it again. 

"Music was an early passion with me, and the works of 
Schubert, Bach, Schumann, and Rubinstein were child- 
hood acquaintances. I can remember sitting up in bed 
at night and whistling long, extemporised passages on 
the symphony and sonata pattern, for I knew no other. 
But I was rebuked and chastised, and made to get under 
the covers and hush myself in the darkness. 

"I am glad that whatever talent I may have for acting 
began to express itself later in life, for if my early mentors 
had noted any such manifestations they would surely have 
ridiculed and quenched it." 

An American boy at Bourbourg had a sombre-hued 
volume of which Richard had in some way spoiled him. 
It was tuned precisely to his aspen imagination. While 
the toy was new it eclipsed every other interest. The 
name of this ingenuous volume was "The Pirate's Own 
Book," and to his last days he never weaned of its glow- 
ing pages. Often, when the monotony of his work fretted 
him, he would exclaim with a sigh: 'What a lot of fun 
we're missing. Let's all go and be pirates." An echo 
of the lure in the heart of the little boy who started off to 
sea! 

The family broke up after the Bourbourg days. Felix 
was sent to Belfast, and articled to a business house there 



20 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1868 

in pursuance of his mother's intention that he should be 
a merchant. Greta's health had been failing for some 
time, and she was now sent south to visit relatives in 
Italy. The younger boys came home to England. 

A close companionship now sprung up between Richard 
and his mother. He began to manifest himself in a re- 
markable taste in everything artistic, in a rare intuition 
of her moods, and in tact in meeting her transitions. His 
own temperament began to blow April weather, and she 
offered him a silent, yielding sympathy bred of complete 
understanding. She took him along, occasionally, to the 
Continent on her concert trips. They were entertained 
at palaces and chateaux, and he met royalty and the 
nobility as well as men and women of aesthetic prominence. 

His native musical ability flattered her, for all admitted 
that his unique skill was inherited. He played with facility 
and sang with style, although he had never taken a for- 
mal lesson. His imitative grasp of what he saw and heard 
when in the room with his mother and her pupils took 
the place of lessons. She was too impatient to teach 
him, perhaps a little because he was too impatient to 
study. But the boy learned without study; things came 
to him by intuition. 

There is neither record nor tradition that he went to the 
theatre. It would not have been for lack of opportunity. 
He usually found a way to do what he wanted to do. It is 
more probable that his inclination did not lead him that 
way. The London theatres at that .time were peculiarly 
barren of tragic artists. Macready had settled down in 
Cheltenham, the Kembles belonged to the heroic past, 
Helen Faucit was living in virtual retirement, the Keans 
were a part of history, and Samuel Phelps no longer 
reigned at Sadler's Wells. Fechter was making some 



i86 9 ] AT THE THEATRE 21 

effort with romantic plays, but Dutton Cook says that 
on the first night "Monte Cristo" was "damned." A new 
author dominated the stage, and London was fascinated 
with the novelty of light modern comedies of fashionable 
life. Though Charles Mathews was absent in Australia, 

John Hare was playing Beau Farintosh in "School," 
from which the boy may have taken some impressions for 
his own performance of this role a few years later. Alfred 
Wigan played "languidly and flatly in 'Dreams," but 
more successfully as Lord Foppington in "The Man of 
Quality"; Miss Bateman was seen in Taylor's 'Mary 
Warner," and W. S. Gilbert's dramatisation of one of 
"eighty-four-volume De Genlis's" stories, which he called 

'The Palace of Truth," was materially assisted to its 
success by the polished manners of William H. Kendal 
and the graceful art of his bride, Madge Robertson. It 
is unlikely that there was much in this list to attract 
the interest or stimulate the imagination of a lusty grow- 
ing boy. The public sipped very weak dramatic tea. 
Seldom had there been an equal opportunity for a virile 
artist of any genuine attainments. 

On a trip to Germany with his mother, however, he 
went to performances at several of the state theatres. The 
acting he saw there, though on a more exalted level than 
in London, seemed not to have impressed him, for one of 
the favourite butts of his ridicule, then and later, was the 
hard-pumped delivery of the old German actors with their 
rasped guttural consonants and exaggerated emphasis. 

Early in 1869 he entered on the experience which in 
after years eclipsed all the rest of his boyhood and became 
the object of his liveliest retrospection. He was entered 
at Derby School, one of the famous English public 
schools, situated in the borough of Derby, Derbyshire, 



22 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1869 

in the lovely Midlands. He recurred to the days spent 
there with unfailing delight. The mere mention of the 
name turned on a flood of sunny memories. 

He fell here under one of the permanent influences of 
his life. The head master was the Rev. Walter Clark. 
There was between them the beautiful miracle of that 
immediate and spontaneous sympathy which kindles and 
sustains friendship. It was not extraordinary that Mr. 
Clark recognised the unusual character of his pupil. The 
silent little fellow at Jena had roused the wonderment of 
old Zenker; as an aloof yet sprightly youngster atYvredon, 
and at Bourbourg he had attracted the unsatisfied curi- 
osity of his masters there. 

Not before he came to Derby, however, had the boy 
known the understanding that invites confidence. The 
influence of his mother was passive. Mr. Clark's influ- 
ence was active and direct, expressed in advice and demon- 
stration. Richard afterward said of him: "He was a 
good man; a rare character." It was whispered rever- 
ence for a man of honourable obscurity in a crowded field. 

In their talks the master made vivid the whole procession 
of historical events and personages from classical an- 
tiquity to the stirring local lore of their own English 
struggles for he combined an extraordinary acquaintance 
with history with a not less remarkable gift for graphic 
narration. It was he who put into his pupil's hands the 
Harrison Ainsworth romances of storied London, and 
these ever afterward shared his affections with the yarns 
of the deep. 

From boyhood it was action that interested Richard. 
Men of achievement, whether of attainment or not, be- 
came the companions of his dreams: Alexander, Caesar, 
Napoleon, and the rugged pirates of the shambling seas. 




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is 7 o] THE DERBY SCHOOL 23 

His Derby record shows no especial distinction in his 
studies, but his record in the sporting lists was creditable 
for a boy among competitors who were from two to four 
years older than he. It was almost impossible to keep 
the boy out of or off the river Derwent. He now swam 
with endurance and further hardened his muscles every 
day with hours at the oars. Football and cricket did not 
attract him especially, and he had not the patience to sit 
at whist or chess. Anything involving set rules vexed 
and repelled him. The intervals of inaction in some 
games fretted him. Whatever he did he not only wanted 
to do with his whole heart and energy, but without inter- 
ruption. He was keen for a contest, but not for team-work. 

He never forgot a certain field-day when he was so in- 
discreet as to enter two difficult races in succession. The 
first was at rowing, which he won, the second was a running 
race and, as he had not recovered himself, he lost. This 
so worked on him that, in after-life, whenever he had a 
bad dream and woke up, he said that he had been running 
and losing that race over again. 

Among his intimates he was known as "Cork" Mans- 
field, probably because he could not be kept down. The 
nickname was at least prophetic of his later life when, in 
spite of adversity, failure, antagonism, and much else, 
including himself, he persistently rose to the top. 

On one of his holiday trips up to London he was taken 
by his school-mate, Gerald Dixon, son of Hepworth Dixon, 
the novelist, to see 'The Bells," recently produced by 
Henry Irving, who had thereby lifted himself out of com- 
parative obscurity to a considerable celebrity. This was 
the first time he ever saw Irving. The Dixons were 
friends of the actor, and Richard was taken to the dressing- 
room and presented by name. Irving gave a start, ex- 



24 RICHARD MANSFIELD [is 7 o 

tended his hand frigidly, and without looking up said: 
' I have heard of you." 

The explanation of this remark was not given until 
thirty years after, in America, when Irving was supping at 
Mansfield's Riverside house. He confessed that he had 
been tricked by the similarity of sounds into mistaking 
Richard Mansfield's name for that of another Richard 
M- , of a similar but not identical surname, a young 
gentleman whose social position made him disagreeably 
conspicuous for certain flagrant irregularities in his con- 
duct. 

Young Mansfield became the star performer among the 
schoolboys in their entertainments on Speech-Day. His 
first performance in public was at a Derby School concert, 
March 26, 1869, when he sang the German song, "Das 
Miihlenrad." According to the Derby Reporter, 'He 
was cordially cheered by his fellow-pupils and the audi- 
ence at the close." 

He acted his first role the Christmas Speech-Day fol- 
lowing, December 23, 1869. It was Scapin in Moliere's 
"Les Fourberies de Scapin." The Derby Advertiser 
the next day said: 'Richard Mansfield played his part 
in an artistic manner and would certainly bear com- 
parison with some who make the stage their profession." 
More gratifying still was an incident which happened at 
the close of the entertainment. Dr. Selwyn, Bishop of 
Lichfield, had presided, and when the play was over he 
sent for young Mansfield and praised him for his charac- 
terisation. "Heaven forbid that I should advise you to 
become an actor," he said, "but if you do, and I am not 
mistaken, you will be a very great one." 

The next year, December 16, 1870, Sir Henry Wilmot, 
Bart., V.C., presided at the Speech-Day, and Mansfield 




THE DERBY SCHOOL 

From a photograph, copyright, by Riihard Keene, Ltd. 




THE BIG SCHOOL-ROOM IN WHICH MR. MANSFIELD FIRST 
ACTED BEFORE THE PUBLIC 



x8 7 2] WANDERLUST 25 

acted Shylock in "The Merchant of Venice." His only 
other performance at Derby School was at the Speech-Day 
of December 21, 1871, when he distinguished himself by 
acting in a German, a French, and three English scenes 
the same evening and taking the leading part in each! 
They were Mephistopheles in Goethe's "Faust"; M. 
jourdain in Moliere's "Bourgeois Gentilhomme"; Fal- 
stafF in Shakespeare's 'King Henry IV"; Bottom in 
" Midsummer Night's Dream "; and Mrs. Betsey Cluppins 
in the trial scene from Dickens's " Pickwick Papers." 

In the spring of 1872 he left Derby. His mother wished 
him to spend another year there and then enter Oxford or 
Cambridge. But he had different ideas, and as was now 
becoming his habit he imposed them on others. He had 
been sent off to Germany at an age when his due was 
several more years at home. For ten years he had been 
shifted from one master to another. It was always 
school, and it began to bore him. 

His imagination had been fired by the tales he had 
read, and he had the youthful longing for adventure. 
He wanted a sea-voyage, a look-in on new people, change, 
and experience. One of the longest voyages taken by the 
English ships was to far-away and mysterious India. 
This attracted him. He had not the means, and he knew 
that his mother would not supply them. But he was 
ingenious. He suddenly exhibited a tremendous interest 
in a commercial career and disclosed a conviction that the 
Indian Civil Service opened a magnificent future for just 
such a lad as he. Though she nursed other plans and 
later pressed them on him, his mother, at the time, fell in 
with his scheme. She secured his appointment and he 
began to cram for his examinations. Over his books, 
however, he had his eye on a free trip to a far country. 



26 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1872 

He ferreted the British Museum and feasted his eyes on 
pictures of the East; he went down to the docks and 
prowled about the ships; and he hunted up seafarers and 
got their tales at first-hand. India loomed an immediate 
reality. 

Fate meantime had been busy and disclosed the star of 
his destiny in quite a different quarter of the heavens. 
His boyhood was now fairly behind him; and as he 
entered upon the period of youth he entered upon an 
interval of experiments in finding himself five picturesque 
years through which our narrative will now follow him 
to America and back again to England. 



CHAPTER THREE 

(1872-1875) 

Madame Rudersdorff comes to America Richard follows Early 
acquaintances in Boston First experiments in finding himself 
Clerks in Eben Jordan's office Boyish pranks at home Hunt- 
ing the eggs The new prima donna The country house at 
Lakeside Teresa Carreno's joke He becomes a musical and 
dramatic critic Leaves home to avoid his mother's temper- 
Showing Von Bulow off. 

THE World's Peace Jubilee in Boston, in 1872, was in 
all respects as spectacular as its name, and was quite the 
most imposing musical event that America had experienced 
up to that time. Three years before Patrick Sarsfield 
Gilmore, or "Pat" Gilmore, as the celebrated band- 
master was known from one end of the country to the 
other, had accomplished the National Peace jubilee in a 
highly satisfactory manner. Plans were at once begun 
for a second monster festival, to be international in its 
scope and on an even more extraordinary scale than the 
first. 

It consisted of daily concerts between June 17 and 
July 4, by the first musical artists of the time, accom- 
panied by a huge orchestra and chorus, a powerful organ, 
chimes of bells, anvils and artillery, in the vast Coliseum 
built for the occasion on the flats back of Huntington 
Avenue. The international character of the jubilee was 
expressed by devoting one day to each nation. 

27 



2 8 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1872 

Therese Tietjens was at that time as well known in 
America as in Europe, and Gilmore sought first to secure 
her as his prima donna soprano. It was not then possible 
for her to come across the Atlantic. Gilmore afterward 
told of her moody moment of regret broken by a sudden 
burst of enthusiasm. "I cannot go. No," she exclaimed. 
" But I will take you to a great artiste, the best voice in 
the world for heroic singing to vast assemblages." With- 
out waiting for permission or protest she tied on her 
bonnet and took the American director to the Mansfield 
house in neighbouring Finchley Road. 

In a letter written some years later, Gilmore said: "I 
am not surprised to hear of young Mansfield's triumphs. 
I have known him since I first saw him as a boy at his 
home in London, where I went to engage his mother for 
the Jubilee of 1872. The son of such a mother could 
scarcely be anything but a genius. She was a magnificent 
woman and a great artiste, a dramatic singer of superb 
power and skill. She fulfilled thoroughly my idea of 
queenliness." Gilmore offered her a contract for $3,500 
a week and all her expenses terms which were at that 
time unprecedented between any artist and a European im- 
presario. 

Madame RudersdorfF accepted, bade her little family 
farewell, with promises of a speedy return, and sailed away 
to America. Her success in Boston had in it the essence 
of all her former triumphs. She roused the audiences 
which packed the Coliseum to the wildest enthusiasm; 
the papers teemed with praise; the most exclusive homes 
in Boston were at once thrown open to her; and the most 
desirable pupils were promised her if she would only 
remain and make Boston her home. 

The suggestion had a sweet enticement. She was now 




ERMINIA RUDERSDORFF MANSFIELD 

From a photograph in the collection of \Y. C. Bamburgh 



i8 72 ] IN BOSTON 29 

fifty years old and she had grown weary of the tedious 
life of travel and public work. The opportunities for her 
children in busy America likewise appealed to her. Never 
slow in making up her mind, her decision to stay came 
quick upon the suggestion. 

She established herself in the Hotel Boylston, which 
gave way later to the present Hotel Touraine, at the 
corner of Tremont and Boylston Streets, and for her 
studio took an entire floor in a house a few doors away 
on Boylston Street, adjoining the library which faced the 
Common on the site of the present Colonial Theatre. 

She soon sent for the children, and Greta and Richard 
arrived early in the winter. Greta grew into a handsome 
and accomplished young woman, and a few years later 
became the wife of M. Batonchon and returned to France. 
Their home was in the city of Macon, where she died in 
1905. M. Batonchon is a government expert on vine- 
yards and grape-culture and was given the Cross of the 
Legion of Honour a few years ago in recognition of his 
services to practical science. 

Richard's delight in coming to America may be im- 
agined. It was his first sea-voyage. All his life tales of 
the ocean had fed his imagination with its happiest dreams. 
To come into the theatre of this romance, to dwell amid 
the majestic proportions of unbroken sea and sky, to 
witness the caprice of the elements in storm and calm, 
and all for the first time, must have been, to a nature as 
sensitive as his, an experience of vast emotion. 

This influence may account in a measure for his sudden 
new interest. The India Service was abandoned and 
forgotten. His young mind now seized on the classics 
and with the enthusiasm and singleness of purpose with 
which he did everything, he read Shakespeare, Dante, 



30 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1872 

Virgil, Homer, Schiller, Goethe, Moliere, and Racine all 
over again without the insistence of a master. His mother 
wished him to take advantage of the excellent library next 
door. But he would neither enter it nor touch a book 
which came out of it, declaring that they were unclean 
and full of germs. Perhaps he knew by what disinfectant 
the stalls in Cornhill kept their tomes immaculate, for all 
his savings after a proper cravat, a polish for his boots, 
and a flower for his coat, went into these second-hand 
shops. 

His mother's acquaintance opened for him the most 
attractive homes in Boston. Her friends at once became 
Richard's, and one whom he allowed across the barrier 
of formal courtesy and a somewhat affected cordiality 
into the not cheaply given privilege of his friendship w r as 
sealed there for all time. 

Julia Ward Howe was one of the first visitors to the 
Mansfield home. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow fol- 
lowed for rare evenings of Italian conversation, of which 
Madame Rudersdorff was so completely mistress that 
when Tomasso Salvini made a third in their group, she 
astonished the poet and delighted the tragedian with 
anecdotes told in the patois of the Mediterranean penin- 
sula. 

Richard met these and others, and they all recognised 
in the boy an intellectual adaptability which was often 
made the topic of speculative prophecy. So long as Long- 
fellow lived Mansfield never came to Boston without 
making the pilgrimage to Cambridge, nor after those 
early days did he visit her city without making a flower- 
laden call at Mrs. Howe's home in Beacon Street. They 
both saw their friend triumph later on several occasions. 

His mother's entertainments were notable. Money 



i8 72 ] PUPILS OF MME. RUDERSDORFF 31 

came easily, she spent it freely. Her house was always 
open to her friends and Richard's. The new home was 
at once the rendezvous of all the visiting artists; among 
whom were Theodore Thomas, on from New York for 
interpretative suggestions from RudersdorfF on the first 
orchestrations of Richard Wagner's new operas which 
came to America; Maurice Strakosch, brother-in-law of 
Adelina Patti, the prophet of the musical elect in America 
when the appreciation of operatic and symphonic music 
was in its infancy here; Emile Sauret with his precious 
violins; Madeline Schiller, whose beauty transported as 
many as did her virtuosity at the piano; Clara Louise 
Kellogg, Arabella Goddard, and a host of others. None, 
however, received a welcome to compare with that given 
their old friend, Therese Tietjens. 

Daughters of distinguished families sought the privilege 
of study under RudersdorfF, and her method soon became 
famous. Her pupils in many cases took eminent positions 
in the musical world. Among them were Ada Sinclair, 
Anna Drasdil, Lillian Bailey (afterward Mrs. George 
Henschel), Fannie Kellogg, Isabel Fassett, Anna Godwin, 
daughter of Parke Godwin, Mary Turner (afterward 
Mrs. Salter), Teresa Carreno, and Emma Thursby. 

Of what he absorbed from the distinguished people who 
came into his life in the early days in Boston, Richard did 
not give specific indication. Even as a boy it was char- 
acteristic of him to observe in silence the things that im- 
pressed him, but little escaped. On the lighter side he 
was less contained. Few came to their home that his 
mimetic faculty did not instantly seize upon their salient 
idiosyncrasies. No less an authority than Miss Jenny 
Wren, the doll's dressmaker, would have admitted that 
he "knew their tricks and their manners." When they 



32 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1873 

went away he would delight his mother with a repetition 
of the visit, imitating them to the slightest detail, broad- 
ening the lines and heightening the colours with a mar- 
vellous sense of burlesque. 

At sixteen Richard had much of the maturity of a man 
of age. He spoke English, French, and German, and 
without any trace of accent. He had some decent smat- 
tering of Latin and Greek, and he was equal to a crude 
conversation or a letter in Italian, Spanish, or Russian. 

He lived at a continual banquet of music and song, 
and rich were the crumbs that he picked up. He learned 
to play the piano and the violin, he sang from the operas, 
and was equal to an imitation of most of the living artists 
of note. He absorbed what was said when he did not 
talk, though he appeared not to listen, and busied himself 
with a pencil, sketching nervously on any scrap of paper 
under his hand. 

He had likewise attained a kind of maturity in growth, 
though he was never a tall man, and easily passed among 
his immediate seniors as a youth their own age. Ambition 
and his own restless activity were soon again whispering 
the question of a career. It became a continual topic be- 
tween him and his mother. The choice lay between the 
employment of his budding talent for painting, his re- 
markable though uncultivated voice, his genius for music, 
and a certain practical leaning to a commercial career. 
There was no suggestion of acting. Early in 1873 cir- 
cumstances offered him an opportunity to make the first 
of those experiments which later discovered to him his 
real vocation. 

Among the homes where he was welcome was that of 
the merchant prince, Eben D. Jordan, whose children 
were of about Richard's own age. Together they often 



i8 7S ] A MERCANTILE CAREER 33 

visited the big store in Washington Street, and Richard 
soon conceived the idea that a mercantile career bound up 
every opportunity of his future. Mr. Jordan developed 
a strong and lasting attachment for young Mansfield from 
the first a friendship that was genuinely reciprocated. 
He gave the boy a desk in his office and employment in 
connection with the foreign correspondence. It was 
Mansfield's duty to translate letters destined for France, 
Germany, and Italy, and, on the other hand, to render 
English versions of the letters from these countries. At 
times he varied this work with practice in writing ad- 
vertisements, wherein his originality served him. He 
took the burdens of his new situation in life seriously. 

He felt himself now quite mature, and seemed deter- 
mined, and indeed destined, to skip directly from boyhood 
to manhood. It was an expression of his virile will. From 
the earliest moment that down feathered his lip, he coaxed 
it with a blade, and soon, to the astonishment of his 
friends, displayed a mustache. His mother had a royal 
temper of her own, and this assumption of his so enraged 
her that his choice immediately narrowed to home or 
his new ornament, and he wisely sacrificed the latter. 

Mansfield remained in Mr. Jordan's employ for about 
two years. The confinement and routine must have been 
vexing to his erratic temperament. He inferred this 
jokingly in a note to his friend, John L. Lincoln, Jr.: "I 
cannot stand this place any longer. They have given me 
a hard stool to sit on, which is wearing out my only pair 
of trousers, and I cannot afford a new pair." 

There was abundance of innocent fun at home. The 
Mansfields dearly loved a "party," in the informal sense 
of a gathering of their friends supported by an ingenious 
idea. Richard was equal to the idea. 



34 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1875 

One Easter Eve his friends were invited for an egg 
hunt. His mother announced that she had hidden thirty- 
six eggs about the house, and that no one would have any 
supper until all the eggs had been found. After a romping 
search in every hole and corner the young people had 
found thirty-five eggs, and finally gave up their search 
for the thirty-sixth. Their failure delighted Madame 
RudersdorfF, and she triumphantly produced the missing 
egg from her own pocket. She was an august personage 
even at play, and no one would have dared to search her 
even if he had thought to do so. 

During a privileged afternoon with Julia Ward Howe, 
in the twilight of her eighty-ninth year, from out the stores 
of her golden memories she sifted this anecdote of her 
friend : 

'I remember a surprise-party Madame RudersdorfF 
gave on Richie's birthday. They were nearly all young 
people present excepting myself. It was not a surprise- 
party in the ordinary sense, but you will understand when 
I tell you. 

'In those days we were continually invited to meet dis- 
tinguished musical artists at Madame RudersdorfFs home. 
She provided unsparingly as a hostess; she was really 
queenly in her hospitality. Hence her invitations were 
snapped up in every quarter. 

"On this occasion we were invited to meet a newly 
arrived prima donna I forget the name. The hostess 
and her distinguished guest received together. I remem- 
ber her as if it were vesterday. She was youthful in ap- 
pearance, uncommonly modest in demeanour. She wore 
a red-and-white silk dress with a prodigiously long train, 
and had many jewels, and an abundance of thick, wavy, 
dark hair which was the admiration of every one. Some 



i8 7 sJ LAKESIDE 35 

of us were put to it to talk to her, for she spoke only the 
European languages. Naturally there was a brave effort 
in some quarters, in especially high tones, for you may 
have noticed it that people who are unfamiliar with a 
language always shout it. 

"The announcement, finally, that the great prima 
donna would sing produced an expectant silence. We 
were all struck by the phenomenal range of her voice. 
She seemed to be able to sing with equal facility a soft, 
dark contralto or a silvery soprano, capping off with an 
octave in falsetto. 

"After responding to several encores, she at length 
astounded us all by lifting off her towering coiffure and 
announcing unaffectedly: 'I'm tired of this, mother. 
Let's cut the birth-day cake.' It was Richie. He and 
his mother had conspired in the surprise-party." 

The summers were spent first in the country near 
Wrentham, Massachusetts, and afterward at an estate 
which Madame Rudersdorff bought and called "Lake- 
side." It was situated near Berlin, about thirty miles 
west of Boston. Here she lived in considerable state. 
Her studio, in which she gave her lessons, was situated on 
the first floor, with French windows leading out into the 
gardens. It was not uncommon for this eccentric lady 
to jump up in the middle of a lesson, exclaiming, "The 
cows are in the corn!" and rush out to corral the in- 
truders. She loved to work in her garden, and made it a 
practice to get up at four o'clock in the morning in season, 
put on her long rubber-boots, and recreate herself hoeing 
and weeding among the vegetables. 

The children had always had a failing for the broad 
bean. She cultivated a large patch of them, and so fond 
did Richard grow of this vegetable that no more tempting 



36 RICHARD MANSFIELD [is 75 

surprise could afterward be offered him than a dish of 
these large, glossy brown beans. 

Teresa Carreno was one of her most vivacious pupils. 
She braved Madame's temper and was equal to any mis- 
chief. One evening Madame Rudersdorff, Richard, and 
the pupils went over to Swampscott and gave a concert in 
the town-hall for the benefit of one of her pupils there. 
These generous efforts were not uncommon. 

A feature of the Rudersdorff method was the production 
of tone through the nose with the mouth closed. Richard 
learned this of her and afterward employed it in his 
imitations of the violoncello in " Prince Karl." She pro- 
vided her pupils a set theme to be used as an exercise. 

On the evening of this concert she swept majestically 
to the front of the platform. Carreno was at the piano 
and for a prelude played the nose exercise! Every one 
recognised it, but no one dared laugh. Rudersdorff 
turned half about and exclaimed in a threatening whisper: 
"Stop that, you little devil!" There was dread foreboding 
of what would happen when she left the stage. By that 
time, however, her sense of humour had overcome her 
anger, and she joined in the belated laugh with the others. 
Carreno's audacity made her a heroine from that time 
forward. 

Young Mansfield was not remembered in any sense as 
a theatre-goer. It could not have been because actors 
were few in the Puritan capital. The native conscience 
which curled at the edges when a theatre was mentioned, 
crowded to see John T. Raymond as Mulberry Sellers, 
Barry Sullivan, Edwin Booth, Lotta in 'Little Nell," 
Maggie Mitchell in "Fanchon," Sol Smith Russell and 
the Berger Family, the various minstrel companies and 
the stock company when they appeared in such shrines 



i8 7S ] DRAMATIC AND MUSICAL CRITIC 37 

of culture as a Beethoven Hall, an Athenaeum, or a 
Museum devoted to indifferent sculpture, painting, his- 
torical souvenirs, and good drama! 

This smug begging of the question was not more char- 
acteristic of Boston than of the conscience of the period. 
There were few theatres, so-called, in America up to the 
last quarter of the nineteenth century. The larger cities 
all had their Lyceum, Athenaeum, or Academy of Music, 
and every hamlet in the land had a Grand Opera House, 
where grand opera was never given by any chance. The 
prejudice against seeing Edwin Booth, Edwin Forrest, 
Charlotte Cushman, Salvini, and Bernhardt evaporated 
when they appeared under the aegis of these alleged tem- 
ples of some other kind of culture. 

The best evidence that Mansfield did go to the theatre 
was the familiarity with the heroes of the stage reflected 
in his imitations, and the fact that toward the end of his 
four years in Boston he was dramatic and musical critic 
on a somewhat feeble daily paper called The News, which 
ceased to be soon after he left it. 

He afterward disclaimed any value for the views ex- 
pressed in these criticisms. They were dashed off in a 
hurry at the end of a day of hard work, the latter portion 
of which was only too often uncongenial to the point of 
antagonism. He was allowed no selection in the plays or 
the actors he was obliged to witness everything and 
everybody had to be seen. When he resigned he told the 
editor it was impossible to criticise fora man who was the 
friend of so many bad actors. 

These were but excuses. Mansfield would never have 
made a good critic. He had not a sufficiently judicial 
mind. His imagination, on the other hand, was so viva- 
cious and his inherent, though as yet unmanifested, 



38 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1875 

dramatic sense was so keen that he would have been too 
impatient of the faults which would always strike him 
first and hardest. 

He often said in the light of his later experiences: : 'I 
am sometimes inclined to think that criticism is no longer 
written to exploit the artist or the work of art which is 
supposed to be under discussion, but rather the personal- 
ity or the cleverness of the writer." From this point of 
view he would have been a huge success. He had a 
brittle style, ready wit, unsparing satire, deep invective, 
and an unquenchable personality which would have made 
a journalistic star of the magnitude he afterward attained 
in the theatre. 

One of his reviews of a concert took the form of an essay 
on "the functions of the drum in the orchestra." The 
drummer had jarred on his musical sensitiveness. His 
aspen nerves fell more and more under the dissonant 
spell of the offender, until finally the offence eclipsed all the 
other harmonies, and Mansfield rushed back to the office 
and poured his outraged feelings into half a column of 
information on how to play the drums. 

It has been intimated that his mother had a spicy tem- 
per. It was more than this. There were times when her 
passions fairly broke into a storm. He understood her 
nature well and had a deep sympathy with her suffering 
when her nervous emotions reached and passed the break- 
ing point, for in nothing was he more essentially his 
mother's son than in his temperament. At such times 
he never remonstrated. He simply left her presence in 
silence. When he returned later the stormy incident was 
ignored and her greeting was full of apologetic tenderness. 

On occasions he packed up a few things and remained 
away from home for days or weeks, according to the wel- 



i8 75 ] AN INDEPENDENT MENAGE 39 

come he dared promise his return. Such enforced exile 
brought no complaint to his lips. With a stoic grace 
he accepted it with its attendant poverty. Of course his 
mother never sent his allowances after him. Until he 
dared go back to her his wits were his only wealth, and 
none but one or two of his most intimate chums knew 
with what resources he managed to maintain the elegance 
of his appearance and the gaiety of his spirits. He could 
not economise. Even in these youthful days possession 
was always the swift sequel of desire. Poverty may have 
distressed him, but it never interfered with his patrician 
instincts and their expression. He always kept his eye to 
the windward quarter with a fatalistic confidence that 
something would blow over the horizon. 

The development of the virile fabric of his nature in- 
tensified his personality and his will. One home became 
too small for two such pyrotechnical temperaments as his 
and his mother's. The boy could endure what the man 
would not. When they came back from the country in 
the autumn of 1875 it was agreed that he should set up 
for himself, which he did in one modest room on the top 
floor of Mrs. Rand's, at 23 Beacon Street, where the 
Bellevue Hotel now stands. There was a refined and 
exclusive atmosphere about Mrs. Rand's retreat, and it 
was characteristic of Mansfield to seek quarters within 
its fashionable doors, though his slender means drove 
him to the top floor at the head of five flights of stairs, 
and the first four ceilings in that house were extraordina- 
rily high. 

The first draught on his modest resources was a piano 

always and inevitably a piano. His remarkable taste 

disposed the few pieces of furniture, the carefully selected 

rugs and curtains, and unable to buy pictures for the 



40 RICHARD MANSFIELD [iS 75 

walls he drew and painted a varied selection himself. 
With the number engraved on his visiting card he was 
domiciled. He began to give parties himself, delightful 
evenings of music and song and clever fooling himself 
the chief performer capped off with a supper of a quality 
which not only astonished his guests, but drove him into 
debt, and at the end of the month to his mother for a 
supplement to the modest yielding of his salary. She 
generally helped him out, but not always, and thereby 
hung his accumulating distress. It never occurred to him 
to cut down expenses. 

It was while he was at Mrs. Rand's that Hans von 
Billow first came to Boston. The great pianist was at 
the zenith of his career and his coming created a furore 
for weeks before and after. He was the musical lion of 
the period. 

Von Billow's first concert was announced for Monday, 
October 18, at Music Hall, the older music hall down the 
blind alley off Tremont Street. He was to introduce his 
virtuosity to Boston by the performance of Beethoven's 
Fifth Concerto for the pianoforte, in E flat, opus 73. 

Mansfield was especially nervous at the prospect of 
having to write a criticism of a master's performance of 
a masterpiece. The day of the concert he discovered 
that Von Bulow had taken quarters under the same roof 
with him, at Mrs. Rand's. He instantly made up his 
mind what he should do and presented himself at the 
great pianist's room. 

: 'Herr von Bulow," said Mansfield, "I'm a critic on 
one of the daily papers here and it will be my duty to 
attend your concert to-night and write a criticism of your 
performance. Of course it is too absurd for me, who 
knows nothing about music, to criticise a master-per- 



i8 7 5] AN HOUR WITH VON BULOW 41 

former like yourself and a master-composer like Bee- 
thoven. But I want to write something that will be 
valuable to you and creditable to myself. Won't you 
please tell me something of the concerto and of your in- 
terpretation ?" 

Here was a new sort of critic. Von Bulow was much 
affected. He sat down at the piano, played and explained 
the fine points of each passage, and obligingly responded 
to all questions. It must have been a memorable hour. 
Mansfield himself warmed to the subject, which presently 
embraced other works of Beethoven, and by degrees a 
general survey of the musical horizon. 

At last Von Biilow swung round on his stool and, eyeing 
the young man keenly, said: 'You know more about 
music than you pretend." 

"Oh, nothing more than I've picked up around home," 
protested Mansfield. 

" But that is a great deal," pursued the pianist. " Yours 
must be a musical home, is it not?' : 

'I am the son of Madame Rudersdorff," replied his 
visitor. 

'Madame RudersdorfF! " exclaimed the great musician. 
'Madame RudersdorfF your mother! She is here, here 
in Boston ? Take me to her instantly." 

Whereupon he threw his greatcoat about him, seized 
his hat and cane, and led his caller down-stairs. 

Those who know the geography of Boston know per- 
fectly well that there is a short cut from the head of Beacon 
Street to the corner of Boylston and Tremont Streets, 
straight across the north end of Boston Common. But 
it was not every day that Mansfield could walk abroad 
with such a lion. 

When he reached the corner of Beacon and Park 



42 RICHARD MANSFIELD [i8 75 

Streets he did not turn to the left, but kept straight ahead 
down Beacon Street along the west side of the Common, 
past the State House, past the front windows of swelldom, 
turned to the left as they reached Arlington Street, and 
crossed to Bo) Iston. As they turned again to the left to 
promenade the length of Boston's most fashionable shop- 
ping street, Von Blilow stopped and faced about on his 
guide. 

"Young man," he exclaimed in thundering tones, "you 
are showing me off! Take me to your mother's house 
instantly!" 

Mansfield never had patience with the long hair affected 
by the actors and musical artists of the period. Von 
Bulow was no exception. He had a leonine mane which 
gave Mansfield an easy opening for a paraphrase of Gold- 
smith's lines that at one and the same time hit off his pet 
aversion and repaid Von Bulow for any resentment he 
afterward showed the young man for his presuming 
vanity in showing him off: 

Man wants but little Herr Bulow, 
Nor wants that little long. 



CHAPTER FOUR 

(1875-1876) 

He opens a studio Teaches languages Celebrates his success 
The Sock and Buskin Club Acts Beau Farintosh in "School" 
The Vincent Crummels entertainment Improvising a role 
A clash on new "business"- -The Buskins disband He leaves 
for England. 

SOMETIME before this Mansfield gave up his position in 
Mr. Jordan's office. It was inevitable that the hard-and- 
fast routine and the unimaginative and unemotional 
detail of commercial life would fret him beyond endurance. 
One day he came home and announced to his mother 
that he had resigned, and again a career loomed up as the 
one big question. 

He had already displayed skill in draughtsmanship. 
When he got a box of paints his sense of colour mani- 
fested itself. His sketches became much in evidence. 
They displayed a delicate hand, a vivid fancy, and a 
native talent of a pronounced type, even if it did not 
amount to genius. 

His efforts were submitted to his friends, the portrait 
painters, George Munzig and Benjamin Porter. Their 
opinion was vastly encouraging. Richard now decided 
that painting was his metier. His mother concurred and 
endowed his career to the extent of an allowance of one 
hundred dollars a month. 

Munzig and Porter were already established in the 

43 



44 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1875 

Studio Building, at the corner of Bromfield and Tre- 
mont Streets. In the top floor, under the slanting man- 
sard, was found a vacant room for Mansfield. He in- 
stalled a piano, borrowed some furniture, used his mother's 
old costumes to tapestry the wall, sketched unceasingly 
for a few days to cover the balance of the hideous wall- 
paper, added his own unerring taste in the bestowal of his 
chattels, and found himself established as an artist. 

He drew in charcoal and painted in water-colours. The 
products were not sufficiently striking to make a fortune 
or insure a career. His friends came generously forward 
and bought the pictures. " But," he afterward explained, 
"when I had sold pictures to all my friends, I discovered 
I had no friends." 

His journalistic connection was more or less casual, and 
it yielded him scarcely more than flower-money. Out of 
his mother's allowance he gave twenty dollars each month 
for the rent; he dressed like a prince, though he declared 
he lived like a beggar, and, as in Dick Swiveller's case, his 
exhausted credit soon began to close up the neighbouring 
streets. 

There was an insistent laundress who made him es- 
pecially unhappy. Once she had mounted the five flights 
to his eerie she was not disposed to leave empty-handed. 
He dreaded to open the door. A knock was too often 
the foreboding of a dun. So he cut a hole in the door. 
Thereafter he did not open until he had surveyed the 
visitor. 

Having supplied all his friends with pictures, his affairs 

became precarious. Many years later a lady gave him an 

opportunity, of which his wit availed itself, by remarking: 

'They tell me you once lived by your paintings." "No, 

my dear lady," he replied, " I lived in spite of them." 



i8 7S ] LESSONS IN LANGUAGES 45 

One morning he went below to Munzig's studio. 
"George," he exclaimed, "I must have money. What 
shall I do ?" Together they went over the situation, and 
finally his friend suggested that his unusual gift of tongues 
be converted into cash: "Give language lessons." 

Almost any new idea was sure of acceptance. Rich- 
ard prepared an announcement, in the most elegant 
terms, which stated that in response to an insistent de- 
mand he had consented to accept a few select pupils in 
the study of French, German, and Italian, and that the 
limited list was not yet quite full. 

The class was diverted with music and fortified with 
tea. His own abundant versatility and magnetic good 
humour established him. Mansfield had decidedly made 
himself fashionable, and the "limited list" was soon 
filled with the smartest young ladies in Boston. 

The language lessons did not last long. However, 
they did endure beyond the end of the month, and then 
the young ladies sent in their amounts promptly. 

He was so elated with his new wealth that he went out 
at once and bought a new silver chafing-dish, every deli- 
cacy of the market, not omitting a comforting vintage of 
wines, and invited his pupils and their friends to such a 
spread as became the topic for months. Not a luxury was 
missing. Those who were present smack their lips to this 
day when speaking of it. 

Two afternoons later he turned up again at Munzig's 
door. "George," he confessed, "I haven't a penny, 
and I am hungry." Together they went to a neighbour- 
ing tavern and feasted on a sandwich and a mug of beer. 

In the autumn of 1875 he and several other young 
friends organised the Sock and Buskin Club. It was a 
select group of young men of artistic and social instincts, 



46 RICHARD MANSFIELD [is 75 

and besides Mansfield included John L. Lincoln, Jr., 
George C. Munzig, S. Harry Hooper, Benjamin Porter, 
Charles H. Jones, Dr. S. Q. Robinson, Robert Burnett, 
H. Wainwright, E. C. Stanwood, Clarence Luce, Henry 
F. Train, F. M. Betton, J. D. Perry, Albert Watson, M. 
Masforrall, C. D. Wainwright, F. F. Downs, Fred Wright, 
John Hooper, and several others. 

The Buskin, as it came to be familiarly known, was 
distinguished as perhaps no other club before or since, for 
there were no dues. Assets were to come from public 
entertainments in which the members would participate. 
Every -one was equal to some amusing contribution and 
there was a general feeling that with Mansfield at the head 
and front nothing could fail. 

They first met in Mansfield's room in the Studio Build- 
ing; then they grew more ambitious and took a whole 
floor in a building in Boylston Street near the Boylston 
Chambers. One of the rooms was quite large and had a 
platform at one end where they rehearsed. The floor was 
sanded. The furnishings were not elaborate, but they 
were notably artistic. When the club was once com- 
fortably settled the bills began to come in and the members 
had an opportunity to vindicate their economic plan 
of being. 

To correct the void in the treasury it was decided 
to give a performance of Tom Robertson's comedy, 
"School," with "some variations rendered necessary by 
the exigencies of the occasion." The long cast and the 
crowd of school-girls gave an opportunity to every one. 
Each part, male and female, was accepted by a Buskin. 
Mansfield was elected stage-manager by acclaim. An 
evening was reserved at Beethoven Hall, around the 
corner in Washington Street, since known as the Park 




RICHARD MANSFIELD AS BEAU FARINTOSH IN 
ROBERTSON'S "SCHOOL" 

From a phot* '^raph in tin- tolkctinn of T. Henry Huopev 



i8 7 6]" A PERFORMANCE OF "SCHOOL 



" 



47 



Theatre. Great were the preparations, great the enthu- 
siasm, and high the expectations of the young gentlemen's 
friends. George Munzig painted the scenery. J. D. 
Perry helped him. Jack Lincoln prepared and directed 
the musical programme. Tickets were sold only to 
friends of the members, but the supply was readily ex- 
hausted, and the life of the club was insured for some 
months at least. Madame Rudersdorff entered heartily 
into the spirit of the occasion and volunteered to costume 
and coach the "girls." 

The performance was given on the evening of January 
14, 1876. There was a notable audience present, and, 
according to an observing reporter, "every one, to the last 
man in the gallery, came in evening dress." 1 

The performance was a great success with every one in 
the audience. There was prodigious applause and quan- 
tities of flowers, especially for the "girls." Mansfield 
always remembered the rather forceful stage whisper of 
his mother, who had taken a proscenium box: 'Dear, 
dear, what a fool that boy of mine is making of himself." 
As will be seen later, she was not reconciled to a stage 
career for Richard. 



1 The cast was as follows: 
Jack Poyntz 
Beau Farintosh 
Mr. Krux 
Dr. Sutcliffe 
Lord Beaufoy 
Vaughan . 
Bella 

Naomi Tighe 
Mrs. Sutcliffe 
Laura 
Tilly 
Milly 
Hetty 
Clara 
Kitty 



Mr. George C. Munzig. 
Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Mr. Charles H. Jones. 
Dr. S. Q. Robinson. 
Mr. S. Harry Hooper. 
Mr. H. Wainwright. 
Mr. E. C. Stanwood. 
Mr. Henry F. Train. 
Mr. F. M. Betton. 
Mr. C. D. Wainwright. 
Mr. F. F. Downs. 
Mr. John Hooper. 
Mr. Fred Wright. 
Mr. M. Masforrall. 
Mr. Albert Watson. 



School-girls, servants, etc., by the Company. 



RICHARD MANSFIELD [1876 

It will be remembered that "School" is divided into 
four acts: First, Recreation; Second, Flirtation; Third, 
Examination; Fourth, Reconciliation. After the boys 
read the papers the next day it was suggested that they 
add a fifth act, "Damnation (by the press)." 

The audience accepted the play in the spirit in which it 
was offered, a lark by a group of amateurs. 'The papers 
were rather rough on the boys, especially the 'girls,'" Mans- 
field wrote a friend. He had his own baptism of criticism 
on this occasion. In a measure he invited anything they 
chose to say, for he afterward confessed that he had taken 
the affair very seriously and had gone himself to the 
dramatic critics and 'I asked them, please, to treat us 
seriously not as amateurs, but as artists who are doing 
their best." 

The Post said: 'Richard Mansfield as Beau Farintosh 
carried off a generous share of the honours and his im- 
personation indicated considerable dramatic talent and 
careful study." 

The Globe: "Mr. Richard Mansfield was the Beau 
Farintosh and, excepting the usual amateurish tendency 
to overact, did very well." 

The Advertiser: ' Richard Mansfield was quite success- 
ful as Beau Farintosh." 

It was the Traveller's reviewer, however, who took 
seriously his invitation to criticism and Mansfield often 
laughed over the duck simile. This paper said: "Mr. 
Richard Mansfield showed the highest dramatic talent, 
but a tendency to exaggerate was to be seen in the first 
three acts, and a Dick Swiveller tendency to attitudinise 
was discernible. We do not understand what standing 
on one foot like a duck means in superannuated beaudom. 
In the last act Mr. Mansfield was excellent and very 



i8 7 6] PLANNING A BENEFIT 49 

judicious and was entitled to the very warm applause he 
received." 

Shortly after this, at a matinee on February 9, the 
performance of "School" was repeated for the benefit of 
the New England Hospital and St. Luke's Hospital. 
Mrs. Arthur Cheney proved a most interested patron and 
secured for the occasion Selwyn's Hall, afterward known 
as the Globe Theatre, across the street from the scene of 
the Buskins' first endeavour. The fame of the young 
actors was abroad in the town and the citizens came in 
such numbers that two thousand dollars was turned over 
to the charities. Mansfield had established the Buskins, 
but he had not established himself. When in response 
to knocks at his studio door he applied his eye to the 
peep-hole, he now opened fewer and fewer times. 

One spring day he presented himself at the chambers 
of his friend Jack Lincoln with a declaration of inde- 
pendence. 'Jack, those creditors are wearing me out," 
he protested. "It's hideously incongruous for a young 
gentleman to associate every step on his stairs \vith 
vulgar duns. I'm going to finish them ofF once for 
all." 

'What are you going to do ?" inquired his friend, who 
knew him well enough to believe absolutely in his resource- 
fulness, but far too well to believe it had taken a practical 
turn. 

"I'm going to give myself a benefit," replied Mansfield. 
"I have a hall promised on Boylston Street. I have 
scraped together enough to print the tickets and the pro- 
grammes, and every detail of my performance is planned. 
There is only one thing lacking. I have no accompanist. 
You must do me that service." 

Lincoln had no high idea of his own musical attainments, 



50 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1876 

but he consented to play on the promise that his name 
should not be mentioned in that connection. 

'That's all right," rejoined Mansfield. "My name is 
not to appear either." 

In a few days the curiosity of the town was piqued by 
the polite announcement of "An Entertainment to be 
given at Union Hall, on Thursday evening, June I, by Mr. 
Vincent Crummels, on the Singers and Actors of the 
Day." Seats were priced at half a dollar and tickets were 
to be had at the Parker House. 

Such secrets will leak out, and it was gradually whispered 
about that the joker behind the incognito "Mr. Vincent 
Crummels," was Madame RudersdorfFs son, Richard 
Mansfield. He was a popular chap, and his friends took 
hundreds of seats, leaving the balance to Curiosity, which 
seized them readily enough. The hall was packed. 

The entertainment took the form of 

A SATIRICAL LECTURE 

Embracing the following humorous Sketches and 
Imitations. 

PART I 

An Imitation of a celebrated Prima Donna of the Royal 
Italian Opera Company, in "La Favorita." Reci- 
tative ed Aria. 

The Response to an Encore. 

A foreign Concert Singer of the Rubinstein Concert 
Company in her favourite ballad. 

A celebrated Tenor in the last act of Lucia. Recitative, 
Scena ed Aria. 

A well-known Contralto. 

A duet by Mr. Vincent Crummels. 'La ci darem," from 
Don Giovanni. 



i8 7 6] IMITATIONS AND CARICATURES 51 

PART II 

The Orthodox Shylock. 

A great tragedian in the terrible tragedy, entitled "The 

Red Pocket-book." 

Mr. Hardenberg as Fagin, the Jew, in Oliver Twist. 
Mr. Raymond as Mulberry Sellers. 
Mr. Maccabe in a Tragedy written for one Dramatis 

Persona. Mr. Maccabe as the Lady-Killer. 
Sol Smith Russell as the Old Maid. 
A few appropriate remarks by Mr. Vincent Crummels. 

The "celebrated Prima Donna" of the first imitation 
was Therese Tietjens. The Response revealed nothing less 
than an imitation of his mother who sat in a box and en- 
joyed the effect immensely. 'Home, Sweet Home" was 
frequently demanded of her at her concerts, and she pro- 
duced an indescribably soft velvety tone with a slight 
vibrato which seemed to break the word 'Home" into 
two syllables: : 'Ho-ome, Ho-ome, Sweet Ho-ome." It 
was this that Richard seized on and exaggerated to the 
point of caricature. The "well-known contralto" was 
Madame Ormeni and the "celebrated tenor" was Brig- 
noli. Liebhardt was the "favourite concert singer of the 
Rubinstein Concert Company." Mr. Raymond and Sol 
Smith Russell were known to several later generations. 
Mr. Maccabe was an English platform entertainer who 
at that time enjoyed a fashionable popularity. Harden- 
berg was a well-known actor in the Boston Museum 
Company. Everybody in the hall knew the originals of 
Mansfield's programme and recognised his extraordinary 
mimetic skill with flattering applause. 

But the hits in the announced programme were in no- 
wise comparable to the roars aroused by the encores. He 



52 RICHARD MANSFIELD [is 7 6 

let himself go in the most irresponsible manner. In 
Madame Rudersdorff's box was her guest and her former 
pupil, Anna Drasdil, widely known for her phenomenally 
deep alto voice. Her charming singing of the old English 
ballad, "Oh, Dear, What can the Matter be," made it one 
of the most popular pieces in her repertoire. She was a 
German by descent and never quite controlled her accent. 
When Mansfield came forward to acknowledge the ap- 
plause bestowed on " Ho-ome, Sweet Ho-ome," he sang 
Miss Drasdil's favourite ballad in perfect imitation of her 
manner and enunciation: "Oh, Tear, Vot can de Matter 
pee." She led the applause herself, for he ''brought 
down the house." He took his cue from this little im- 
promptu success, and every encore thereafter was devoted 
to the eccentricities of well-known persons in the audience. 

The next day he sealed up the hole in the studio door, 
threw back the bolt, and the echo of a knock was once 
more a lusty "Come in" from a distant corner of the 
room. 

He was fond of his own way and generally had it. The 
wall of reserve that hedged about the little boy at school 
and which so many of his casual acquaintances, later 
found an impossible barrier to a knowledge of his inten- 
tions and purposes, was already in evidence. He was not 
communicative, and there was something about his re- 
serve that did not invite intrusion. 

Whether or not he recognised this as one of the con- 
spicuous points of an anecdote of himself he was long 
afterward fond of telling, it illustrates it well and at the 
same time it betrays a youthful relish for a practical joke. 

Such was his fame as an amateur actor for one so young 
that his services were often in demand for the parlour 
plays. On one occasion when he had been invited to take 



is 7 6] SUCCESS AS AN AMATEUR 53 

the leading role in a comedy which was to be given a week 
or two later, every one was afraid to ask him to come 
to rehearsal, with the result that he forgot all about the 
play and did not study his part. One day a note came 
reminding him the play was to be given that evening. 
After dinner he went early to the house on Beacon Street, 
asked for a book of the play, read it for the first time, 
caught the story and the character, and, with the supreme 
impudence of which he was in those days capable, started 
in to improvise. Of course the others could not speak 
their lines; they didn't fit his. He gave none of the cues 
they had studied for. He, however, improvised away 
with brazen assurance, and made a great hit, while every 
one else, with the correct lines of the play, was at sixes 
and sevens! 

Early in the winter friends in Portland invited the 
Buskins to come to the Maine city and repeat their 
successful performance of "School" for a local charity. 
The lark appealed to them, and they appeared at Music 
Hall in that city on the evening of Saturday, December 
16, 1876. 

No one who participated in or witnessed that perform- 
ance will ever forget it. Wintry blasts swept along the 
coast all day long, terminating late in the afternoon in a 
tornado which lifted the roof of the Portland Music Hall 
into the street! The thermometer registered fourteen 
degrees below zero. Nevertheless every seat had been 
sold and the players went through their parts in great- 
coats, furs, gloves, and hats. It is perhaps needless to 
say that "School" was given that evening with further 
"variations rendered necessary by the exigencies of the 
occasion." By their heroic work the young men saved 
for the local charity the money advanced for the tickets, 



54 RICHARD MANSFIELD [is 7 6 

but the four acts of the comedy were given in one hour 
and twenty minutes. 

The "irresistible force" of his will on this occasion met 
an "immovable body" with results which the recital will 
indicate. In the second act of "School" Lord Beaufoy 
(Hooper), Jack Poyntz (Munzig), and Beau Farintosh 
(Mansfield) came to Dr. Sutcliffe's School for a visit, 
and the stage business directed that they should sit at 
stage right on three chairs extending up stage in the 
order named. This put Farintosh the third or farthest 
up stage. 

Mansfield had always followed the letter of the prompt- 
book till the rehearsals for Portland. Then he announced 
that he had some excellent new business and was going 
to sit on the chair nearest the footlights. The others 
protested vigorously. They considered a variation on 
the "business" as set down in the prompt-book a desecra- 
tion and would not hear of it. Meantime Mansfield 
declared that no matter how it was rehearsed he was 
going to take the down-stage chair in Portland. This 
attitude so angered the others that the whole club de- 
clared a "silence" on him. This discipline seems to have 
broken the force of his resolve. As the three stood in the 
wings ready to make their entrance he whispered to 
Munzig, "I'll take my old seat." Nevertheless none 
relented from the silence. 

The Buskins returned next day to Boston, and the fol- 
lowing morning there was a rap on the door of Munzig's 
studio. It was Mansfield with a bundle in his hand. 
"George," he began, with his most winning smile, "here 
are a couple of birds mother sent, and she wants us to 
have lunch together." The birds were not doves, but 
they were quite as adequate as a peace offering. The 



1876] END OF THE BUSKINS 55 

young men lunched together; that night they dined with 
Madame Rudersdorff at a sumptuous rate that indicated 
something of preparation, and they were warm friends 
thereafter as long as Mansfield lived. 

The question of liquid refreshment was an embarrass- 
ment to the members of the Buskin Club from the start. 
The young men wanted their stimulants, but neither their 
families nor their friends would have countenanced a club 
bar. They avoided the point with an expedient which sug- 
gested the Mansfield resourcefulness. 

The compromise was "a wine closet," and the members 
confessed to "a few bottles on the shelf." Sharers of 
their hospitality found their modesty somewhat exag- 
gerated. But there were none of the appurtenances 
of a bar; no service, no pay. A member was supposed 
to go to the closet, help himself, write the amount of 
his indebtedness on a card and slip it into a box pro- 
vided for that purpose. The sequel may be imagined. 

The handsome proceeds of their entertainment a year 
before were long since exhausted, and insolvency menaced 
the dueless club. The last straw was laid on one night 
when, as was discovered the next morning, one of the 
members with more hospitality than scruple invited 
several men in to sample the "few bottles on the shelf." 
The first visitor the next day discovered no other occupants 
of the club than the hospitable member and his guests, 
and they were drowsily unconscious of the intrusion. 
Every bottle was empty. So was the check box! This 
bankrupted the Buskins and ended their brief but merry 
and eventful existence. 

Mansfield and the Buskins took their departure from 
Boston at about the same time. He had not had any 
lessons in drawing or painting. His talents were all 



56 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1876 

native, and he drew and coloured with an instinctive, 
untutored skill. He argued with his mother that he could 
not continue in America with any hope of a distinguished 
career. 

"Very well," she replied, "go to England. I'll give 
you a letter to Frith" -this was William Frith, the Royal 
Academician "and I'll send you a hundred dollars a 
month." 

This was, of course, a pittance to one of his extravagance, 
but early in the new year of 1877 he packed up, closed his 
studio, bade good-by to his friends, and sailed back to 
England to study painting. 



CHAPTER FIVE 

(1877-1878) 

His apprenticeship in the theatre Joins the German Reed Enter- 
tainments Faints on the first night His mother cuts off his 
allowance Poverty and hunger In provincial companies 
Sings a duet for Gilbert and Sullivan Plays Sir Joseph Porter 
in "H. M. S. Pinafore" on tour Denied sixpence increase in 
salary and returns to London. 

WHAT intention was in his heart when Mansfield left 
America will never be known. The study of painting 
was made the excuse. If his design to become a painter 
was sincere, it was, nevertheless, soon abandoned. 

He did present his mother's letter to Frith, who re- 
ceived him with a formal kindness, and he studied casu- 
ally at the South Kensington Museum, which he reached 
from the Pall Mall district, where he had lodgings, only 
after a weary tramp on foot. But there was lacking the 
enthusiasm and determination which had already become 
a characteristic of his genuine interest in an undertaking, 
and it is not surprising that the brush and palette were 
soon put aside and the canvases forgotten. 

There was another call in his heart. Perhaps the per- 
formance of "School" and his appearance as Mr. Vincent 
Crummels, modest though his success was in each in- 
stance, stimulated him with a hope in a new direction. 
Behind him in Boston he left an unalloyed belief with his 
mother and his friends that his future lay with painting, 

57 



58 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1877 

but from the time he reached London it is quite evident 
that he was possessed with no other idea than to become an 
actor, and the chronicle is now one of his apprenticeship 
in the theatre. 

His pocket-book was soon flat. It is certain, however, 
that there was no more perfectly tailored and groomed 
young gentleman on the parade than he. His acquaint- 
ance quickly extended to the leading lights of the artistic 
and Bohemian world. Old Derby school-mates looked 
him up. Over a modest supper, fortified with ale and 
Scotch, and afterward at the piano, he had a hundred re- 
sources by which to make himself fascinating. His friends 
brought their friends. Among a certain set of young swells 
Dick Mansfield's chambers became one of the most 
popular rallying-points in London. This hospitality soon 
exhausted his credit all over the neighbourhood. Hunger 
began to pinch. 

Perhaps he confided his dilemma to one or two inti- 
mates, for directly he had invitations to spend the week- 
ends at certain great country houses, where he sang and 
played for his friends and their guests after dinner. His 
extravagance, however, consumed the few sovereigns he 
could command. Nevertheless his talents were earning 
him something, and he wrote of it to his mother in Amer- 
ica with high spirits. 

He was taken to the Savage Club, where his cleverness 
was attested by the leading entertainers of London. 
When Corney Grain was taken sick in the spring of 1877, 
Mansfield was recommended as his substitute in the Ger- 
man Reed Entertainments. He was to receive eight 
pounds a week. This was a splendid salary for any young 
man, as salaries went then, or as they stand now on the 
London stage. To Mansfield it was a windfall. 



i8 77 ] HIS DEBUT IN LONDON 59 

German Reed had, a generation before, established in 
Regent Street a polite entertainment known as 'The 
Gallery of Illustration." It was one of the sops shrewd 
London managers offered to the British Puritan who 
could not take theatrical entertainment from a theatre, 
just as his American cousin sipped his sanctimoniously 
through the straw of the Athenaeums, Museums, Lyceums, 
Academies, and Opera Houses. Other preeminently 
proper places in the English capital at that time were 
Madame Tussaud's Wax Works, Moore and Burgess's 
Minstrels, and the Polytechnic. German Reed's Enter- 
tainments consisted of two brief comedies with a musical 
interlude by some clever parodist or mimic. When 
Reed outgrew the quarters in Regent Street, he moved 
a little ways above into St. George's Hall in Langham 
Place. In this miniature theatre he made his entertain- 
ments the most select and fashionable diversion in Lon- 
don. From his little company he graduated ladies and 
gentlemen who took their places among the distinguished 
actors and actresses of the day. Reed and his wife ap- 
peared in the comedies, and after themselves his strongest 
card was Corney Grain, successor of the even more noted 
John Parry, who filled the interlude with an amusing med- 
ley of vocal and piano-forte humour. 

As a member of this distinguished little coterie of 
entertainers, Mansfield felt that his fortune was made. 
His whole interest, attention, and hope now centred on 
April 20, the night of his debut. He was assigned the 
small role of the Beadle in the comedietta, "Charity 
Begins at Home," which opened the evening. After that 
he was to change to evening dress and hold the stage alone 
for half an hour, after the manner established by Corney 
Grain. Every shilling he could scrape together went for 



60 RICHARD MANSFIELD [ l877 

a wardrobe linen, boots, cravat, a boutonniere, and 
other irreproachable appurtenances. 

His friends crowded St. George's Hall for his first ap- 
pearance. It was observed as he uttered the few lines of 
the Beadle that he was excessively nervous. When, 
later in the evening, he sat down at the piano and struck 
a preliminary chord, he fainted dead away. 

Mr. Reed relieved him of his position at once. In dis- 
charging him, he said: 'You are the most nervous man I 
have ever seen." It was not all nervousness, however. 
Mansfield had not eaten for three days. He had fainted 
from hunger. 

It was many a year before he again worked up to the 
munificence of eight pounds a week, but this pathetic 
incident was later made an asset as employed by him in 
an attractive little comedy of his own writing. 

The night of his disastrous debut he dragged himself 
home to his lodgings discouraged and disconsolate, alone, 
ill, and penniless; but the cup of his bitterness overflowed 
the next morning. The American mail brought him a 
letter which was the sequel of a scene which must be 
recited here. 

One day Madame RudersdorfF stormed into George 
Munzig's studio. In her outstretched hand she carried 
the fluttering sheets of Richard's latest letter. She was 
superbly dramatic in her wrath and paced the long room 
with the air of a tragedy queen. 

" George Munzig," she exclaimed in tones of trenchant 
irony, " do you know what your friend is doing in London 
-your friend Dick Mansfield ? He is giving entertain- 
ments; he's an entertainer! He accepts week-end in- 
vitations from school-friends like Lady Cardigan's son 
and others, and plays and sings for them, and takes five 




RICHARD MANSFIELD, IN THE GERMAN REED 
ENTERTAINMENTS 



i8 77 ] HIS REMITTANCE STOPPED 61 

pounds for it! Your friend does this. He's no son of 
mine! I'm going right down to State Street and cut off 
every penny of his allowance!" 

And she did, and wrote him punctually to that effect, 
''beginning," as he afterward declared, "in very plain 
English and emphasising her resentment in French, Ger- 
man, and Italian, and ending up in Russian, with a 
reserve of bitter denunciation, but no more languages to 
express it in." She declared that he had "entered on a 
slave's life" and her son was not fitted for it. 

Mansfield was now on evil days indeed. He moved 
into obscure quarters and fought the hard fight. It was 
years before he would speak of these experiences. In 
fact, he rarely ruminated on the past in the confidences 
of either conversation or correspondence. Memory 
troubled him little and by the universal equation it with- 
held its pleasures. He dwelt in the present with his eyes 
and hopes on the future. It was always the future with 
him. No pleasure or attainment brought complete satis- 
faction. He looked to the past only in relation to the 
future, for experience, for example, for what to avoid. 

Once when at the meridian of his fame, 1 he was asked 
to lecture before the faculty and students of the University 
of Chicago. For his subject he chose, "On Going on the 
Stage." That he might exploit to those before him the 
reality of the actor's struggle he lifted for the first time a 
corner of that veil of mystery which hung between his 
public and his past, and told of these early London days: 

c 'For years I went home to my little room, if fortu- 
nately I had one," he said, "and perhaps a tallow dip 
was stuck in the neck of a bottle, and I was fortunate if I 
had something to cook for myself over a fire, if I had a 

1 February, 1898. 



62 RICHARD MANSFIELD [iS 77 

fire. That was my life. When night came I wandered 
about the streets of London, and if I had a penny I in- 
vested it in a baked potato, from the baked-potatp man 
on the corner. I would put these hot potatoes in my 
pockets, and after I had warmed my hands, I would 
swallow the potato. That is the truth." 

The tragedy of those days was not without its humour- 
ous relief. "I can remember one evening in London," 
he recounted afterward at supper amid the luxury of his 
Riverside Drive home, "when I reached the pleasant 
condition of having had nothing to eat all day. I had 
just one shilling my last in my pocket. I was walking 
along, looking somewhat covetously into the pastry shops 
I passed, wondering how, on my pittance, I could dissipate 
the carking hunger to the best advantage. Suddenly I 
came upon a friend of mine, a vagabond like myself, 
but apparently then in much better luck. He was gor- 
geously arrayed in all the black-and-white splendour of 
evening clothes. He had a dinner invitation, he ex- 
plained, at Lord Cavendish's, or some such great house; 
we'd go in somewhere and have something on the strength 
of it. 

'We went into one of those Bodega places that are 
scattered over London, where you get a very decent 
glass of champagne on draught for sixpence. They 
always had a large cheese about, you know, from which 
you may help yourself, which is about the nearest ap- 
proach England makes to the American free-lunch. 

'Well, we tucked into the cheese, at least I know I did. 
and we had our glass of champagne each. Now I don't 
know whether you know it or not, but there is probably 
not a mixture in the world that is surer to create hunger 
than cheese and champagne. 



i8 77 ] THE PINCH OF POVERTY 63 

'I did not need an appetite, I had a huge one already, 
but after that cheese and champagne I had a positive 
gnawing. I was mentally gloating over the shilling's 
worth of food I would go forth and feast on, when my 
friend, shuffling his hands nervously from pocket to 
pocket, turned to me and said: 

' I say, old man, I'm awfully sorry, but I seem to have 
left my pocket-book at home. If you happen to have a 
shilling about you- ' and I had the satisfaction of paying 
out my last shilling for that hunger-raising cheese and 
champagne!" 

The true Mansfield, Mansfield the indomitable, came 
out in the crucible of these trials. He wrote his mother, 
but he scorned to ask again for money, well as he under- 
stood the fiery temperament which is the expression of 
impulse. They exchanged most affectionate letters. But 
he was never to see her again. 

The sale of an occasional picture, or the acceptance of 
a story or poem by a magazine, gave him barely sufficient 
to eke along. It was with difficulty he was able to put up 
a respectable appearance when he was so fortunate as 
to have an invitation to fashionable houses. But non- 
nutritive as were the unsubstantials that were exploited 
there in the form of cold collations, the truth is that had 
he declined these invitations he would have gone hungry. 

His discovery of Mrs. Hall, mother of a group of 
charming girl friends in Boston, and of his old friends, 
Mrs. Howe and her daughter Maude, afforded bright 
spots in this otherwise cheerless period. The dinners to 
which these ladies invited him were often providential 
interpositions between him and starvation. 

At length his wardrobe became so reduced that attend- 
ance at any but the most informal entertainments became 



64 RICHARD MANSFIELD [iS 77 

out of the question, and finally he had to give up these. 
Soon he was inking the seams of his coat and wandered 
about shunning friends for fear they would learn to what 
a condition he was reduced. 

"Often," he admitted, "I stayed in bed and slept be- 
cause when I was awake I was hungry. Foot-sore I 
would gaze into the windows of restaurants, bakeries, 
and fruit-shops, thinking the food displayed in them the 
most tempting and beautiful sight in the world. There 
were times when I literally dined on sights and smells." 

He did every species of dramatic and musical hack 
work in drawing-rooms, in clubs, and in special perform- 
ances in theatres. Sometimes he got into an obscure 
provincial company, but he said that his very cleverness 
was a kind of curse, since the harder he worked and the 
better the audiences liked him the quicker he was dis- 
charged. The established favourites of these little com- 
panies always struck when a newcomer made a hit. 

His humour did not forsake him, but it became some- 
what cynical. The equal helplessness of success or 
failure begot a kind of audacity which broke out in the 
most unexpected caprices. 

In one instance, when he foresaw immediate dismissal, 
he executed a sweet revenge on a jealous comedian who, 
with Mansfield and one other, sang a trio. As each 
came forward for his verse the other two sat back on 
either side of the stage, then rose, joined in the chorus, 
danced a few steps, and fell back again into the chairs. 
While the comedian was working hard down front Mans- 
field ostentatiously took a large pin from the lapel of his 
coat, with great pain bent it as every school-boy knows 
how, and getting his cue suddenly to join in the chorus, 
quickly put the bent pin in his own chair. At the con- 



i8 7 8] PRACTICAL JOKES 65 

elusion of the dance he swung round before the chair and 
assumed to sit down with violence. As he was just about 
to touch the chair he reached for the pin, and the audi- 
ence, which had all this time paid no attention to the 
comedian, now roared with laughter. 

On another occasion, in a little sketch called "A Special- 
Delivery Letter," he was intrusted with the part of the 
Squire who was to receive the letter or rather, who was 
to call for it and not get it because the villain had stolen it. 
His only line was "I am surprised," and then he was to 
go off the stage. The manager explained that they could 
not pay much for one line, yet they couldn't get a super 
who could look like a country gentleman. Mansfield's 
pride was touched. He had to prove he was better than 
a super, and took the part with the proviso that he be 
allowed to work it up in his own manner, though he 
warned the manager that he would not be able to give 
satisfaction. 

Once he got on the stage he bade fair never to leave it. 
When he was assured that there was no letter he im- 
provised a comic scene of anger, resentment, and bluster 
which sent the audience into paroxysms of laughter. He 
delivered a tirade on every one in sight. His brother, 
who was a member of Parliament, would look into the 
special delivery department, his wife's cousin was a peer 
and the House of Lords would pass a measure abolishing 
the whole post-office system! Every other sentence was 
punctuated with "I am surprised!" The stage-manager 
shouted to him to come off and threw himself into a sweat 
threatening violence, but Mansfield finished his part as he 
had written it. That night he was discharged. 

But nothing else he did equalled Mansfield's recital 
of his experience the night he condescended to the 



66 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1878 

plebeian role of a waiter and wore an apron. His 
whole "business" was to draw a cork, but he took pains 
to drive that cork home before coming on the stage. 
When his cue came to draw the cork he tugged and tugged 
in vain. His face grew scarlet and perspiration dropped 
from his forehead. Then he handed the bottle to an- 
other waiter who 'struggled with all his strength without 
budging the cork. Mansfield turned a deaf ear to the 
voices in the wings shouting for him to leave the stage. 
He took the bottle back again and with renewed effort 
finally dislodged the cork. The insignificant pop it gave 
after those Titanic efforts again brought down the house. 
His hit meant his dismissal as usual. 

In 1878 Gilbert and Sullivan made their first great hit 
with their delightful operatic satire on the British navy, 
'H. M. S. Pinafore." Gilbert had for a decade been a 
popular dramatist. They had been collaborating, too, 
in several previous efforts, but this was their first tri- 
umph. In the autumn D'Oyly Carte planned a second 
and a third company to play "Pinafore" in the provinces. 
Having succeeded in no other direction, Mansfield went to 
his office and registered. One day, after much patience, 
he was granted an interview with the mighty Gilbert. 

He was asked to sing and, turning to the pianist who 
happened to be Alfred Cellier Mansfield said, "Play 
'La ci darem." 

'You don't mean the duet from 'Don Giovanni'?'' 
exclaimed the astonished Cellier. 

' Play, play," repeated Mansfield imperatively. He 
was somewhat impatient, for instead of buying breakfast 
that morning he had put a boutonniere in his lapel. 

When he finished the duet, alternating his deep, full 
barytone with his wonderful falsetto tones, he was given 



i8 7 8] ON TOUR IN COMIC OPERA 67 

the role of Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B., First Lord of the 
Admiralty. It is a part requiring distinction of manner, 
a good voice, perfect enunciation, and agility in dancing. 
Mansfield had all of these, and his success in the part 
was very considerable, although none but the second- 
class towns were visited by the company of which he was 
a member. 

The tour included Scotland and Wales as well as Eng- 
land. No town that had a hall was too small to be 
visited. The musical accompaniment was played on 
metallic pianos and asthmatic harmoniums. It would 
appear that both were used in Darlington as Darlington 
was one of the larger towns visited this may have been the 
occasion for an "enlarged orchestra" for a local paper 
said: "Mr. Horner, a gentleman well known for his 
musical ability, manipulated both the piano and the 
harmonium." Could the meaning have been that this 
gifted operative played both at the same time ? At Col- 
chester "the band of the Royal Dragoons played the 
overture." Then a piano accompaniment to the opera ? 
Anticlimax! 

The only scrap-book that Mansfield ever kept covered 
these years on tour in " Pinafore." Its yellowed pages 
tell a story which must have warmed his heart. The 
notices it contains are in no sense criticisms mere bald, 
crude reporting of the facts of the performance, but nearly 
always with some honeyed word for "the irresistibly comic 
interpretation of the young man, R. Mansfield, who 
played Sir Joseph Porter." Pasted inside the cover is a 
delicate pencil sketch of him in the character, drawn by 
his friend, J. Dimsdale, "September 26, 1877," and on 
the rough exterior he sketched with his own pen a merci- 
less caricature of himself in the same role. 



68 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1878 

Augustus van Biene, the actor and musician, whose 
performance of 'The Broken Melody" afterward in 
England rivalled in length of days and popularity 
'The Old Homestead" in America, was the musical 
director for a time. When he heard of Mansfield's 
later triumphs he exclaimed: "What dreams of suc- 
cess we dreamed! What castles in the air we pro- 
jected even then! Some day we would astonish the 
world! And our joint salaries were just thirty-five dol- 
lars a week!" 

' Richard Barker was the stage manager and Mans- 
field could never please him. After trying again and 
again, he once cried: ' Please, Barker, do let me alone. I 
shall be all right. I have acted the part.' 'Not you/ 
declared Barker. 'Act? You act, man? You will 
never act as long as you live!' 

Mansfield, writing some years after l for some young 
people who were allured by their impressions of the actor's 
life, referred to these first provincial experiences: "Have 
you any idea of what a dressing-room is like ? In what 
places we sometimes have to dress ? I have stood in 
Wales in the act of making-up the technical term for 
painting your face standing with one foot on a brick 
and with the other foot on a brick, and the water running 
all about me; with a little piece of cracked looking-glass 
in my hand; and the stage was made out of a number of 
boards laid across barrels, with the ladies dressing on one 
side of the stage and the gentlemen on the other side, and 
consequently the exits and the entrances had to be changed. 
We had two exits, one on one side where the gentlemen 
dressed, and one exit on the side where the ladies dressed, 
but occasionally we forgot and once I ' exited,' if I may be 

1 First Chicago address, February, 1898. 






\r 






RICHARD MANSFIELD AS SIR JOSEPH PORTER, K. C. B. 

From a drawing by J. Dimsdale, 1879 



i8 7 8] RETURNS TO LONDON 69 

permitted to use the term, on the side where the ladies 
dressed, and there were shrieks which were not written 
by the author of the play." 

In America a comedian who could successfully carry 
the leading role in a touring comic opera would command 
and receive from one to two hundred dollars a week. 
For upward of a year Mansfield's weekly salary for play- 
ing Sir Joseph Porter was three pounds. 

His own account of his revolt for an additional six 
shillings a week in the fall of 1879 and of what followed, 
written down in his own terms at the time of his telling, 
lacks only the spirit and magnetism of his recital: 

'The management of that company was most exacting. 
For the slightest excuse, or none at all, salaries were cut, 
fines were imposed, or the victim discharged with short 
shrift. Before long I felt the halter draw, and, not yield- 
ing promptly to unjust demands, coupled with a request 
for a raise of six shillings in salary after a year's successful 
service, I was promptly set adrift with scarcely a shilling 
in my pocket. On the munificent salary of three pounds 
a week it was impossible to lay by anything, and so I 
journeyed to London with nothing in my pocket but a 
little contribution which a kind woman of the company 
forced on me just as I was leaving on my forlorn trip 
back to the metropolis. Several years ago I found this 
generous soul in destitute circumstances, over in London, 
and had the inexpressible pleasure of adding a little to 
her comfort. 

" Reaching my poor lodgings in London, I soon fell 
into desperate straits. Without money or friends, and 
with no professional opening, I was soon forced to pawn 
my few belongings to pay for food. I did not know 
which way to turn, and was in such extremity that the 



70 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1878 

most gloomy reflections overwhelmed me and I could see 
no hope in life." 

The recollection of the rebuffs, poverty, starvation, in- 
ability to find sympathy, because possibly of the pride 
which repelled it, the ill-fortune which snatched the 
extended opportunity just as he was about to grasp it, 
the jealousy of established favourites of the encroaching 
popularity of newcomers, the hardships of provincial 
travel and life in a part of the country and at a time when 
the play-actor was still regarded as a kind of vagabond, 
and was paid as such; the severity of the discipline he 
encountered from the despots over him all painted 
pictures on his memory and fed a fire under the furnace 
of his nature which tempered the steel in his composition 
to inflexibility. The stern rod of discipline was held 
over him every moment and often fell with unforgetable 
severity. He was trained by autocrats in a school of 
experience more autocratic than anything known to the 
younger actors of this generation. 



CHAPTER SIX 

(1878-1880) 

A dream and its realisation Plays Sir Joseph again on tour The 
first performance of "The Pirates of Penzance" Improvising 
patter music Plays John Wellington Wells in "The Sorcerer" 
The spur of discontent Resigns Back again in London. 

WHAT befell Mansfield while in the distressed state 
of mind and spirit before described cannot be better 
conveyed than by resuming his own narrative last re- 
ferred to : 

"This was the condition of affairs when a strange hap- 
pening befell me. Retiring for the night in a perfectly 
hopeless frame of mind, I fell into a troubled sleep and 
dreamed dreams. Finally toward morning this fantasy 
came to me. I seemed in my disturbed sleep to hear a 
cab drive up to the door as if in a great hurry. There was 
a knock, and in my dream I opened the door and found 
D'Oyly Carte's yellow-haired secretary standing outside. 
He exclaimed: 

"'Can you pack up and catch the train in ten minutes 
to rejoin the company?' 

"'I can,' was the dreamland reply. There seemed to 
be a rushing about while I swept a few things into my bag, 
then the cab door was slammed and we were off to the 
station. 

"This was all a dream, but here is the inexplicable 

71 



72 RICHARD MANSFIELD [i8 7 s 

denouement. The dream was so vivid and startling that 
I immediately awoke with a strange, uncanny sensation, 
and sprang to my feet. It was six o'clock, and only bare 
and gloomy surroundings met my eye. On a chair 
rested my travelling bag, and through some impulse that 
I could not explain at the time and cannot account for 
now, I picked it up and hurriedly swept into it a few 
articles that had escaped the pawn-shop. It did not take 
long to complete my toilet, and then I sat down to 
think. 

"Presently, when I had reached the extreme point of 
dejection, a cab rattled up, there was a knock, and there 
stood D'Oyly Carte's secretary, just as I saw him in my 
dreams. He seemed to be in a great flurry, and cried 
out: 

'Can you pack up and reach the station in ten minutes 
to rejoin the company?' 

"'I can,' said I calmly, pointing to my bag, 'for I was 
expecting you.' 

"The man was a little startled by this seemingly strange 
remark, but bundled me into the cab without further ado, 
and we hurried away to the station exactly in accord with 
my dream. That was the beginning of a long engage- 
ment, and, although I have known hard times since, it 
was the turning point in my career. 

"How do I account for the dream and its realisation ?" 
exclaimed Mansfield in answer to a rather incredulous 
question. "I have already said that I have no theory 
whatever in regard to the matter. I do not account for 
it. It is enough for me to know that I dreamed certain 
things which were presently realised in the exact order of 
the dream. Having no superstitions, it is impossible to 
philosophise over the occurrence. All I know is that 



i8 79 ] AS SIR JOSEPH PORTER 73 

everything happened in the exact order that I have 
stated it." 

One man's misfortune is another man's opportunity. 
W. S. Penley he who was to be "Charley's Aunt" 
Penley was playing Sir Joseph Porter in the first touring 
company. He fell ill early in December, and it was to 
take his place that Mansfield had been sent for. His 
debut in the more important company was made at 
Bristol, December 10, 1879. 

He now experienced the novelty and the delight of 
playing long engagements in the larger provincial cities. 
A fortnight at holiday time was spent at Torquay, and 
some impression of Mansfield's successs among a better 
class of artists may be gained from the Torquay Times' s 
review: 

"The success of the piece is made by the First Lord . . . 
and more elegantly embodied ludicrousness the stage has 
never exhibited. It is impossible to imagine how an 
actor could do more justice to an author's conception 
than Mr. Mansfield does to this effort of Mr. Gilbert's 
prolific brain. . . . We cannot but confess the success is 
due, in a very eminent degree, to the faultless acting of 
Mr. Mansfield as Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B." 

Two miles south of Torquay on the Devonshire coast 
is the village of Paignton. This little town at the time 
had a quaint bandbox, which boasted the imposing name 
of The Royal Bijou Theatre. On Tuesday, December 30, 
the posting boards before the Royal Bijou announced 
to the world or to such a proportion as meandered past 
the theatre during the morning that on that after- 
noon, at two o'clock, would be performed an entirely 
new and original opera, by Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan, 
entitled "The Pirates of Penzance, or Love and Duty." 



74 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 



[i8 79 



This was the first performance l of this work on any 
stage, and the last, too, for some time. It was in reality 
a hurry-up copyright representation, demanded by Eng- 
lish law for the protection of dramatic authors, and was 
given in this obscure town purposely. The "Pirates" had 
been produced in America, and this was an expedient to 
prevent its being pirated in England. 

The "Pinafore" company playing in Torquay drove 
over for the afternoon and sang and acted the parts. 
It was an amusing experience indeed. There could 
scarcely have been a numerous audience; there never 
is at these impromptu performances, but it included 
Mrs. D'Oyly Carte, Mr. Gilbert, and not-yet-Sir Arthur 
Sullivan. 

Mr. Gilbert had completed the book, but Arthur Sullivan 
had not yet written all the music to his own satisfaction. 
The Major-General's patter song balked his most ingen- 
ious effort. It was marked "to be recited" in the part 
given Mansfield, but he was so amused at the ingenuity 
of the rhyme and rhythm that he committed the song to 
memory on the instant, and insisted on being allowed to 
sing it. 

" But there is no music," protested the director of the 
orchestra. 

"Just give me sixteenth notes in the key of G, two beats 



The Pirate King 
Frederick (a pirate) . 



1 The cast is interesting not merely as a record, but also on account of the 
embryonic celebrities: 

Major-General . Mr. Richard Mansfield. 

Mr. Frederici. 
Mr. Cadwallader. 
( Mr. Lackner 
( Mr. Lehay. 
Mr. Billington. 
Miss Petrelli. 
Miss May. 
Miss K. Neville. 
Miss Monmouth. 



Sergeant of Police . 

Mabel 

Edith 

Isabel 

Kate 

Ruth (Frederick's nurse) 



Miss Fanny Harrison. 



AN IMPROVISATION 75 

to the measure, play soft and follow me," he replied, and 
began the song: 

I am the very pattern of a modern Major-General, 
I have information vegetable, animal and mineral, 
I know the Kings of England, I quote the fights historical, 
From Marathon to Waterloo in order categorical. 
I am very well acquainted, too, with matters mathe- 
matical; 

I understand equations both simple and quadratical; 
About binominal theorems I'm teeming with a lot of news, 
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypoth- 
enuse. 

He chattered the words off at a furious rate, but with a 
crisp, distinct enunciation that gave every syllable its 
value making the tune up as he went along. Every one 
roared at the effect, and the composer was so amused 
that he never attempted to write any other music for this 
song. 

Mansfield's effort attracted attention in London. The 
World said he "scored decidedly," and "his impersonation 
of the Major-General, though at present merely sketched, 
displayed marked originality of conception and dramatic 
talent." 

From Devonshire the company went to Ireland, but 
played only in Dublin and Belfast. In both cities there 
were many points of intimate personal interest to Mans- 
field, especially in the capital, the former home of his 
grandfather and his mother. He crossed to England 
again, and such was the success of himself and his asso- 
ciates that almost the entire year of 1880 was spent in 
Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, and 
Sunderland. 

Mansfield had meantime added a new role and a pro- 



76 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1880 

nounced success to his experience. 'The Sorcerer," by 
Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan, had been presented at the 
Royalty, London, in 1877, but D'Oyly Carte's trav- 
elling company first played it in 1880. To Mansfield 
was assigned the title role of John Wellington Wells, the 
remarkable travelling salesman of a firm of family sor- 
cerers. Love philtres are his stock in trade, and the 
complications arise from his sale of them in a peaceful 
village. The story was suggested first in a sort of prose 
"Bab Ballad" which Mr. Gilbert wrote years before for 
a Christmas number of the Graphic. 

Mansfield's old scrap-book hints that he took a leaf 
out of his experience in Boston, for in Wells the critics 
found they had "a modern Yankee of the 'cutest de- 
scription." He received most praise for his patter song, 
"I am John Wellington Wells," and the dramatic de- 
livery of the weird incantation scene. 

During the engagement at the Theatre Royal, Edin- 
burgh, late in June, he sprained his ankle while dancing, 
but pluckily returned to the cast in a fortnight. This 
ankle was always weak thereafter. The next time it 
went back on him proved not to be an unmixed mis- 
fortune, for indirectly it led him out into the white light 
of his first real triumph. 

"The Pirates of Penzance" had its metropolitan pre- 
mier at the Opera Comique early in 1880, and captured 
London. Its fame spread, and D'Oyly Carte's company 
added it to their Gilbert and Sullivan repertoire in the 
autumn. Mansfield resumed his original character, "the 
very pattern of a modern Major-General." The smart- 
ness with which he took off the mannerisms of military 
swells, his irresistible linguistic fluency and affectation, 
and his original manner of hesitating at the end of a line 



THE NOTE OF DISSATISFACTION 77 

to get a correct rhyme, were all noted by the appreciative 
reviewers. 

He had demonstrated his talents to his own satisfac- 
tion in three markedly contrasted roles at the head of an 
important, if provincial, company. But he evidently felt 
the fret of the routine. Gypsying in the northern cities 
was ineffably wearying to one of his temperament. He 
felt, too, the lure of London. He wrote to America : " I 
am making a living, but I am not making progress." 
That note of dissatisfaction never left him. It was the 
whip of his ambitions. Already a career was coaxing 
him. That he was making a living was not enough. 
That he was doing admirably what he was doing was 
not enough. The call was too strong, and shortly 
after the holidays he handed in his resignation and 
returned to London, determined to become a metropoli- 
tan actor. 

This was rather forcing the hand of Fate. That, how- 
ever, seems to have been a game that he learned early, 
and he played it all his life. He never waited for oppor- 
tunity to hunt him up. It was his plan to create an occa- 
sion and then realise on it. The boys at Derby had 
already named him "Cork" Mansfield. London, how- 
ever, appears not to have been waiting for him. Perhaps 
he had counted on this. 

The curiosity of ambitious young comedians was at 
this time inevitably centred on the next product of the 
fertile imagination of the authors of 'The Sorcerer," 
"Pinafore," and "The Pirates." Gilbert had for thir- 
teen years been producing at the rate of four plays a year. 
Doubtless he wrote much also that was not acted. Here 
was a pen to watch, and there had been nothing from the 
miraculous nib for a twelve-month. Gossip in the clubs 



;8 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1881 

and in the coffee-rooms began to be busy with rumours 
of an operatic satire on the reigning aesthetic fad. 

Mansfield felt himself peculiarly adapted to play the 
exquisite. He decided again to beard the lion in his den. 
He was forth on this mission when he came face to face 
with the great Gilbert in the Strand. Before Mansfield 
could give greeting, Gilbert opened fire: 

" Sir, they tell me you dared to change the business set 
down in my book. You shall never be cast in any of my 
operas again." And then he stalked majestically away, 
leaving Mansfield with the wind all spilled out of his sails, 
to drift as he could. 

After a rudderless hour or two his friend George Gid- 
dens sighted him and towed him into the cosey harbour 
of the Savage Club. Under the sunny influence of his 
good friends there Mansfield soon forgot the recent squall 
and warmed to the spirit of the occasion. He sat down 
at the piano and presently had the room fascinated with 
his imitations, parodies, and instrumental absurdities. 

After an hour or more of this a gentleman, who had 
been sitting quietly in a corner throughout his perform- 
ance, approached Mansfield and introduced himself: 

"I'm Frank Fairleigh- 

"And author of 'As in a Looking Glass/ are you not, 
Captain?" interrupted Mansfield. 

'Yes," resumed Captain Fairleigh, "but, what is more 
to the point, I am one of the lessees of the Globe Theatre. 
My partner, Mr. Henderson, has in rehearsal a new 
opera comique by Offenbach. The company is com- 
pleted, but I think we can make room for you. Come to 
our offices to-morrow at noon." 



CHAPTER SEVEN 
(1881-1882) 

Joins the company at the Globe His first parts in London News 
of his mother's death Anecdotes of Madame Rudersdorff 
Acts Brigard in "Frou-Frou" Woolstone in "Not Registered" 
-The Inn-keeper in "The Mascotte" A call from Jordan- 
Sails for America. 

NEXT day Mansfield repaired to the Globe and was ad- 
mitted to the company. The operetta in rehearsal was 
Offenbach's "La Boulangere," the book being the work 
of the equally celebrated Meilhac and Halevy. The gen- 
tleman who was cast for Coquebert dropped out for some 
reason, and the part was given to Mansfield for what 
was practically his first appearance on the stage in Lon- 
don, as the effort in St. George's Hall had terminated un- 
fortunately before it had begun. 

"La Boulangere" proved to be a Parisian Bakeress 
who had made a fortune in John Law's Mississippi 
scheme. To improve her deportment she engages as her 
lackey, M. Coquebert, a gentleman in reduced circum- 
stances. The fun of the lackey's part, as written, was 
somewhat anaemic, and Mansfield was allowed to enlarge 
his opportunity to amuse the audience. The piece was 
produced April 16, 1881, and Mansfield succeeded in 
making an impression. He rushed on, at one point, in 
manifest distress, and improvised a scene he was sup- 

79 



So 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 



[1881 



posed to have just witnessed between the soprano, the 
tenor robusto, and the basso profundo of a stranded 
Italian opera company. His Italian patter talk brought 
down the house. 

In the autumn he moved to the Royalty. Burlesque 
had for a long time been the form of entertainment 
associated with this house, and the finest talent in Eng- 
land had been in evidence here. The management now 
changed its policy, however, and the stage of the Royalty 
was for a time devoted to the light forms of comedy 
drama. 

The first offering was "Out of the Hunt," "a fairly 
merry little play," founded on "Les Demoiselles de Mont- 
fermeil" of Barriere and Bernard, and produced on the 
eighth of October. 1 

It met with little favour. As Monsieur Phillipe, the 
proprietor of a hotel, Mansfield made an amusing sketch 
of a business-like little old Frenchman. 

After a few days the parts of a new play were dis- 
ributed, and on November 12 the company acted for 

1 The cast indicates who were Mr. Mansfield's associates at this theatre: 



Jugertha Brown 

Lord Waverly Battleaxe 

Walton Weare . 

Monsieur Phillipe 

Mr. Ap-hazard 

Marshley Bittern 

Waiter 

Chris Deverill . 

Sir Babbleton Dever 11 

Winsome Weare 

Hazel Brown 

Gerty Milford 

Louise Ap-hazard 

"Ma" 

Josephine 

Tipps 

Orinthia Fitz-Ormond 



Mr. G. W. Anson. 

Mr. J. G. Taylor. 

Mr. F. Everill. 

Mr. R. Mansfield. 

Mr. Lytton Grey. 

Mr. E. Sothern. 

Mr. C. Parry. 

Mr. F. Rodney. 

Mr. C. Glenny. 

Miss Lydia Cowell. 

Miss C. Arditi. 

Miss Maud Branscombe. 

Miss Edith Vancher. 

Mrs. Bant. 

Miss J. Gompertz. 

Miss L. Comyns. 

Miss Lottie Venne. 



"E. Sothern" of this cast was Edward H. Sothern, and this was his first 
London appearance. To be exact, he appeared first in a comedietta, "False 
Colors," which opened the evening's bill. 



DEATH OF HIS MOTHER 81 

the first time on any stage Sydney Grundy's farcical 
comedy, "Dust," from the French of "La Point de Mire," 
by Labiche and Delacour. Mansfield played Herbert 
Olwyn. But he did not play it long. Whatever fun 
there was in the original play was dissipated in the adap- 
tation, and "Dust" was retired after seven nights. 

Comedy having failed, the Royalty returned to its old 
love burlesque by degrees. "Genevieve de Brabant," 
an opera comique, was first revived, Mansfield playing the 
Burgomaster, and then Henry Byron's "Pluto" was 
taken off the shelf, dusted up, and presented to its old 
friends on December 26. This was preceded by 'The 
Fisherman's Daughter," an original comedy drama in 
two acts by Charles Garvice. Mansfield played Old 
Sherman in the shorter piece, but did not appear in 
Byron's burlesque. 

Early in the new year he experienced his first great 
sorrow. Returning home to his lodgings one night he 
found a cable dispatch which told him that his best and 
oldest friend, his confidante, his first audience, his severest 
critic, the repository of his jealously given affections, the 
one person in all the world who really understood the 
jangling discords of his complex nature his mother- 
was dead. 

The Destroyer never before or after stepped between 
him and any one who was woven in the woof of his inner- 
most affections. The poignancy of his suffering was 
sharpened by the helplessness of distance, his isolation 
from any one with whom he could relieve his overflowing 
heart, and the unsparing brevity and literalness of the 
message. 

Letters, the preceding autumn, had told him of the fire 
which had destroyed her country house at Lakeside. Noth- 



82 RICHARD MANSFIELD 

ing was saved. In an hour were swept away her entire 
operatic wardrobe and the precious souvenirs of a remark- 
able career. Fortunately, her celebrated laces a collec- 
tion based on the gifts of her friend, the Duchess Sophia 
of Baden, and augmented during many years by her own 
unsurpassed judgment were on deposit in a vault in 
the city. But the fire swept the other trophies of her 
years of triumph the gifts of Mendelssohn, Schumann, 
Tietjens, Prince Napoleon, King William II of Holland, 
Albert consort of Victoria, Emperor Ferdinand of Austria, 
and many of the minor princes to whose courts she had 
been welcomed. 

She returned to Boston and took up her residence at the 
Hotel La Grange. She wrote less and less frequently to 
her son, and finally the letters stopped. Knowing her 
disposition he suspected nothing. She was in truth 
fatally ill, patient under terrible suffering, from which 
she was relieved on February 22, 1882. 

Madame Mansfield-RudersdorfF, as she called herself, 
is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Boston. Her 
grave is marked by a large boulder half overgrown with 
ivy. As long as Mansfield lived he kept a circle of scar- 
let tulips in bloom about the base of the rock, and the 
brown and green and scarlet made a striking harmony. 
Nearby sleep Edwin Booth and Phillips Brooks, and her 
own dear friend, Longfellow. 

In her will Richard was made her sole heir, with the 
capricious proviso that no portion of the inheritance 
should pass into his hands so long as he remained un- 
married. 

Madame Rudersdorff's public life was crowned and 
closed fittingly with her triumph as soloist of the Peace 
Jubilee. She taught continually; at long intervals she 



ANECDOTES OF MME. RUDERSDORFF 83 

sang in oratorio in Boston and, on rare occasions, as a 
favour to her friends Strakosch and Mapleson, when ill- 
ness embarrassed their plans, she sang her operatic roles. 

She appeared on the New York operatic stage but once. 
In 1878 she was especially engaged with the Adams- 
Pappenheim Company at the Academy of Music. On 
September 13 she sang Ortrud, in "Lohengrin," a role in 
which she is said to have been at the time without a peer. 

As a boy Mansfield had been fascinated by the "his- 
toirettes," endless as they were entertaining, which she 
told with inimitable mimicry of the great personages she 
had met, with graphic description of place and dress. In 
later life he recalled many of them, and his mimicry could 
have been no less amusing than hers. A few others of 
these anecdotes, reproduced from his own narrative in 
The Theatre, may not be out of place before this remark- 
able woman passes finally out of this chronicle: 

'I am afraid that Madame RudersdorfF was at times 
more feared than beloved by her colleagues. In proof 
of this a strange incident occurred on the stage of one of 
the provincial towns. The opera for the evening was 
'Lucretia Borgia,' with Madame RudersdorfF in the 
title-role. It was a part in which she greatly excelled, 
and in which her ability as an actress and her power as a 
dramatic singer found full scope. If I remember rightly, 
Signer - - was the conductor, and the cast included, 

among others, another great prima donna of the day, 
and Mr. P- . Lucretia Borgia has to appear on the 
scene in a towering rage. Madame RudersdorfF, as was 
customary with her, w r orked herself up to the necessary 
pitch behind the scenes, and when she flew on the stage 
she was indeed terrible to behold. 



84 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1882 

"So at least thought Mr. P- , for in answer to 
her burst of passion (which takes the form of recitative) 
not a note could the thoroughly frightened tenor produce. 
So lifelike was her representation that Mr. P , be- 
lieving himself really in great peril, could remember 
neither music nor words. In vain Madame RudersdorfF 
repeated the last few bars of the recitative, the tenor could 
neither cry out nor sing. In vain Madame Rudersdorff 
and Madame - - interpolated some recitative of their 
own composition, and in Italian besought him to 'take 
courage and go on.' In vain the orchestra repeated the 
cue. Not a sound from the terror-stricken tenor. The 
opera was at a standstill. 

'Fortunately, the conductor (a celebrated composer, 
now living) was equal to the occasion, and the orchestra 
played what the tenor should have sung. After the 

curtain had fallen, Signer made his way behind 

the scenes: 'What on earth do you mean/ said he, 'by 
making such a mess of it?' ' How the d could I 
tell,' replied the crestfallen tenor, 'that Madame Ruders- 
dorfF was going to be in such a towering rage ? ' 

"Madame RudersdorfF was wont to be as good as her 
word. Whilst on tour in Ireland the tenor fell ill, and 
was replaced by a youthful aspirant to operatic honours 
of exceedingly diminutive stature and of mean capacity, 
whose birthplace was Dublin, and whose friends had 
engaged the manager. But the little man could neither 
sing nor act, and his conceit was, strange to say, as great 
as his ignorance. Madame RudersdoriF soon lost patience 
with him and determined to rid the company of this 
incubus. 

'The opportunity soon occurred and in Dublin. It 
doesn't much signify what opera was being performed, 



i88 2 ] DISCIPLINING A TENOR 85 

but Madame Rudersdorff wore a very long dress. The 
unhappy tenor could in no way avoid this very long dress; 
in whatever position he placed himself, somehow or other 
he always found himself standing on her train. He would 
no sooner disentangle himself and seize the opportunity 
to strike a picturesque attitude, when lo! he beheld the 
pale pink shimmer of Madame RudersdorfFs robe be- 
neath his feet. 

"Madame was exasperated beyond all endurance, her 
finest effects were spoiled by the persistent awkwardness 
of the youthful aspirant. 'If you step on my dress again, 
I give you my word, I will trip you up!' The light tenor 
fled in horror to another part of the stage. Again he was 
compelled to approach in order to sing in a trio a few 
bars, and behold, he was firmly, but unconsciously, 
planted on the dress once more. Madame RudersdorfF 
seized her dress with both her hands and stepped swiftly 
on one side. The youthful aspirant's legs were drawn 
from under him and he measured his length on the stage. 

"Only those who have played before an Irish audience 
can form any idea of the effect this produced on the house. 
In vain he gesticulated wildly, in vain he endeavoured to 
sing, he actually attempted a protest the result was only 
shriek after shriek of laughter. It is not necessary to add 
that the very light tenor never again appeared in Dublin. 

" During the reign of the late and somewhat eccentric 

O O 

Emperor of Austria, Madame RudersdorfF was for some 
time at the court of Vienna; and if ever I had reason to 
doubt the reported insanity of his majesty, it was on ac- 
count of his decided partiality for the great prima donna. 
Her tales of the Viennese court were many and amusing, 
but I can only remember a very few likely to be of any 
interest to the theatrical world. 



86 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1882 

"The Esterhazy family had attached to their mansion 
or palace a private theatre, in which it was the delight of 
their friends and themselves to give representations of 
plays then in favour before the Emperor, the Court, and 
the elite of Vienna. Madame Rudersdorff was naturally 
in great demand, and, besides being called upon to fill the 
chief roles, she spent no little time in instructing the 
Princesses in the art of stage 'get-up.' Despite all her 
exertions, however, the performances did not always run 
as smoothly as might have been desired, and one in par- 
ticular seems to have come to thorough grief. 

"I cannot remember what particular play it was the 
Esterhazys had announced, but, whatever it was, the 
Emperor graced the performance with his presence, seated 
in a delightfully comfortable fauteuil very near the stage; 
and all the court was there in grand gala. The Emperor 
having been coaxed to silence (for he was an imperial 
chatterbox), the first act commenced, and everything went 
well until the elder Esterhazy, stabbed to the heart, had 
to fall dead on the stage, and chose to fall just beneath 
the huge candelabrum. Now, most unfortunately, owing 
to a draught in the upper regions, the waxlights of the 
candelabrum were dripping, and one by one drops of hot 
wax fell upon the upturned face of the prostrate count. 
He bore it like a Spartan for some time, then he began to 
wink violently (the Emperor leaning forward was eagerly 
watching the situation), and at last, an extra hot drop 
having stung him between the eyes, he sprang to his feet, 
exclaiming: 'Der Teufel mag mir todt sein ich aber 
nicht!' (The devil may be dead here but not I!), and 
walked himself off amidst the laughter of the audience 
and to the great delight of the Emperor. 

"Silence, after a while, having been restored, the second 



i88 2] CHAMPAGNE AND THE EMPEROR 87 

act commenced, but proved even more disastrous than 
the first. The author had introduced a supper in the 
first scene, and the Esterhazys, by no means content with 
the shams which a regular stage supper affords, had pro- 
vided a most gorgeous feast real champagne, huge 
pates de foies gras, and many other delicacies. To this the 
dramatis persona sat down and proceeded to enjoy it. 
Now the Emperor was particularly fond of champagne, 
it amounted almost to a passion with him. He fidgeted 
in his chair, he leant forward, he moved closer to the stage, 
and it was very evident to all the court that the imperial 
mouth watered. More champagne was brought on; his 
Majesty could stand it no longer, he sprang on to the 
stage, at the same time exclaiming: 'Na! wenn's Cham- 
pagner giebt, da bin ich auch dabei!' (What, champagne! 
Then I must join you!) It is needless to say that the 
last act was not played that night. 

'The eccentric Emperor's reception of poor Dreyshok 
has become historical, although I think Madame Ruders- 
dorff, who was an eye-witness, was the one to relate it first. 
Music was very often the only means of keeping his Im- 
perial Majesty quiet, and Madame Rudersdorff had com- 
menced a small concert by singing 'The Last Rose of 
Summer.' This so pleased the Emperor that he made her 
repeat it six times, and it was only on venturing earnestly 
to plead fatigue that his Majesty refrained from insisting 
on a seventh performance. 

' Dreyshok followed, and it being his first appearance 
at court, he was naturally very anxious to please. The 
weather was intensely warm, and the myriad lights of the 
candelabra and the objection the Emperor entertained 
for open windows, made the heat of the salons unbear- 
able. Yet Dreyshok laboured bravely, and when he rose 



88 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1882 

from the piano to make his bow, the perspiration was 
literally streaming from his face; and to render the poor 
pianist's situation still more painful, he dared not dry his 
face with his pocket handkerchief before the Emperor, 
for fear of offending against court etiquette. However, 
it was evident that his Majesty was pleased; he advanced 
smiling toward Dreyshok, and Dreyshok awaited with 
bowed head the compliments which were doubtless forth- 
coming. 'Lieber Herr Dreyshok,' said Ferdinand in the 
broadest Austrian accent, 'I have heard Moschelles, I 
have heard Thalberg I have heard all the great players, 
but I never, I never (and Dreyshok bowed very low) I 
never saw anybody perspire as you do.' ' 

During the early months of 1882, Mansfield played in 
two special matinee performances. His characters were 
Ashley Merton in "Meg's Diversion" and Brigard in 
"Frou-Frou." The latter play was presented at the 
Globe Theatre for the purpose of introducing Miss Hilda 
Hilton. Beerbohm Tree played the Baron de Cambri, and 
Arthur Forrest, who later played leading roles with Mans- 
field in America for ten years, was the Henri de Sartoris. 

The bill at the Royalty was changed on April 10 to 
"Sindbad," the burlesque, preceded by a domestic drama, 
in two acts, by Arthur Mathison, entitled "Not Regis- 
tered." Mansfield appeared in the latter piece, support- 
ing the role of Theophilus Woolstone. It was his last 
work at this house. He soon afterward moved to the 
Comedy Theatre, where "The Mascotte" was enjoying 
a long run. An insignificant role was given to him, the 
inn-keeper, and he was on the stage less than five minutes 
in the last act. Yet he spent an hour and a half every 
night making-up to play that five minutes. 



i88 2 ] OFF FOR AMERICA 89 

Spring was at hand now and the season was waning. 
Almost any other young actor of five and twenty years 
would have felt some satisfaction with what he had ac- 
complished. Not so Mansfield. He was disappointed 
with himself. The struggle had been hard and he was 
bitterly poor. One night, sick in body and depressed in 
mind, he left the stage and threw himself upon the rickety 
chair in his dank, noxious dressing-room. Too weary and 
listless to even take off the shell of the character he had 
been impersonating, he did not hear the door swing quietly 
on its hinges or notice the figure in the doorway. But as 
the sharp, hearty, familiar "Well?' : broke the stillness, 
the young man was on his feet in an instant and had the 
warm hand of the other in his own iron grasp. It was 
his good friend, Eben Jordan, and the old gentleman was 
the first human being from that group of dear friends 
across the water whom Mansfield had seen since his 
mother died. 

They supped together that night, and the story of 
Mansfield's five years in England was rehearsed. The 
sun was threatening St. Paul's when they separated, but 
Mr. Jordan had persuaded Mansfield where his oppor- 
tunity lay. The next day he resigned from the Comedy 
Theatre company, and soon he was on the ocean bound 
for America. 



CHAPTER EIGHT 

(1882) 

The New York stage as Mansfield found it His first American 
appearance Dromez in "Les Manteaux Noirs" at the Stand- 
ard Vedder father and son in "Rip Van Winkle" The Lord 
Chancellor in "lolanthe" A sprained ankle causes him to re- 
turn to New York Joins the Union Square Theatre Company 
Rehearses Tirandel in "A Parisian Romance" -The role of 
the Baron Chevrial is given to him His premonition of the 
result. 

WHO can say what brave dreams were or were not in 
Mansfield's heart when he decided to throw his gauge on 
the American stage ? There is much to support those 
who contend that the early eighties furnished a period in 
the American Theatre not surpassed by any other epoch 
of any other stage in the world. The artists of other 
countries found a welcome here, such as their own 
stage did not offer the foreigner, and native talent was 
questionably near its zenith. 

A. M. Palmer was closing a memorable tenancy of the 
Union Square Theatre with Charles R. Thorne, Jr., 
Frederick de Belleville, Owen Fawcett, Eleanor Carey, 
J. H. Stoddart, John Parselle, Maud Harrison and Sara 
jewett. 

Wallack's new theatre boasted John Gilbert, Rose 
Coghlan, Osmond Tearle, Harry Edwards, William 

90 



i88 2 ] THE CROWDED ARENA 91 

Elton, Madame Ponisi, Effie Germon, Fannie Addison 
Pitt, Arthur Forrest and Herbert Kelcey. 

Augustin Daly's list was equally formidable, with Ada 
Rehan, John Drew, Charles Leclerq, Mrs. Gilbert, Henry 
Miller, Otis Skinner, James Lewis, Charles Fisher, Bijou 
Heron, Digby Bell, W. J. Le Moyne, Harry M. Pitt, and 
Isabelle Evesson. 

Edwin Booth was at his best. Lawrence Barrett was 
never in better form. Joseph Jefferson had accom- 
plished, and was acting with his ripest comedy, the roles 
that were to give his name endurance. Clara Morris 
enjoyed the fullest possession of her powers and popu- 
larity, and Mary Anderson was her loveliest. 

Bernhardt made her first appearance in New York in 
1 88 1. Tomaso Salvini, Henry Irving, and Ellen Terry 
came in 1882. The great Ristori followed only two years 
later. Modjeska and Janauschek had both entrenched 
themselves in American positions of eminence. Mac- 
ready, Forrest, and Cushman were not so remote but that 
their attainments were in the personal experience of many 
of the generation which was to judge the new aspirant. 

It took courage and confidence of a stern mettle to enter 
these lists. But Mansfield never did the easy thing, and 
his belief in his own destiny was fixed, though he had as 
yet done nothing by which to command others to accept 
his own estimate of himself. 

It cannot really be said that he preferred difficulties 
but they had a subtle attraction for him. He met them 
always fearlessly, firmly, struggled with them, and mas- 
tered them. It was characteristic of him to scent afar the 
smoke of the artistic battle waging in New T York by com- 
parison with which London's theatrical atmosphere was 
lethargic and to rush into the arena. 



92 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1882 

He came to believe afterward that he had made the one 
mistake of his life in coming to America. Public opinion 
here he believed to be provincial, and as such he believed 
the other nations gauged us, in the sense that a career in 
America meant nothing abroad; it gave no real position 
to the artist who ventured before foreign audiences, 
whereas a foreign artist who appeared in New York was 
acclaimed before he spoke his first line and had the re- 
sponsibility not so much of making as of breaking his 
reputation. Mansfield felt that had he attained his posi- 
tion in England, the conquest of America would have 
been a hundredfold easier. In other words, in America 
a foreign artist was assisted by his reputation at home, 
whereas the judgment given an alien in Europe is hard 
and fast on merits according to local standards and pre- 
cedents. 

When he arrived in New York he found that his repu- 
tation, such as it was, had preceded him a drawing-room 
entertainer and a provincial comic-opera comedian. Wai- 
lack, Daly, and Palmer declined his services with thanks. 
From theatre to theatre and from manager to manager he 
went, full of self-assurance, declining to consider any 
other than important parts, but his self-assurance was 
lacking in conviction for men who did not want a pro- 
vincial comic-opera comedian. Having exhausted the 
dramatic field, he was forced by dwindling means to 
forego his ambition and take what he could and not what 
he would. 

Among the many theatres he haunted was the Standard, 
where an operatic company was organizing to play a 
recent London success, and determined to be content 
only with the best, he applied for the leading role. On 
such visits he saw no reason for self-depreciation through 



i88 2 ] FIRST AMERICAN APPEARANCE 



93 



a false sense of modesty. He told what he believed to be 
the truth about his capacity with the result, in most cases, 
of a general impression of undisguised conceit. 

D'Oyly Carte's interest in the company may have had 
some effect here, for in this instance the door opened to 
him and he was cast for Dromez, the miller, in Bucalossi's 
"Les Manteaux Noirs," or "Three Black Cloaks," as it 
was afterward Englished. The Standard Theatre stood 
opposite Greeley Square on Sixth Avenue, and was after- 
ward known as the Manhattan Theatre. Entirely 
unknown to the public, Mansfield here made his first 
appearance on the professional stage in America, Sep- 
tember 27, 1882. l 

His success that night with his audience, who, after his 
first song and scene, greeted his every reappearance with 
applause, was echoed in the critical chorus of the next day. 
His fun was of ripe and mellow quality, though delight- 
fully inconsequential and unforced. The appeal of his 
performance was not the phenomenal fashion in which his 
voice ranged in several registers, or his native fashion of 
trailing his text through several languages, or the agility 
of his toes at well nigh impossible angles, but in the fact 
that he took the trouble to act Dromez as well as to make 
him up and costume him. Mansfield understood an au- 
dience's respect for sincerity, and he never found anything 



'The cast was as follows: 

Don Luis de Rosamonte 

Don Jose . 

Dromez, the miller 

Nicolas 

Manuel . 

Palomez . 

Don Philip of Aragon 

Isabel, Queen of Castile 

Clorinda . 

Gomez 

Lazarillo . 

Girola 



W. T. Carleton. 
A. Wilkinson. 
R. Mansfield. 
W. Gillow. 
William White. 
J. Furey. 
J. H. Ryley. 
Fanny Edwards. 
Joan Rivers. 
Billie Barlow. 
Mina Rowley. 
Mme. Selina Delaro. 



94 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1882 

too difficult to do or too trifling to slight. In this instance 
his performance of the old miller was as perfect as the 
slender opportunities permitted. He was the success of the 
opera, but it was as an actor that he made his hit. 

In a night he established himself as a comedian, and he 
might have played in comic opera successfully the rest of 
his life had he been content. 

Unfortunately, the enterprise, as a whole, had no en- 
durance. Its life was forced over four weeks to enable 
the company to perfect itself in a new piece. On October 
28 almost the identical list of singers gave renewed energy 
to the business of popularising the new Planquette oper- 
etta based on Washington Irving's legend of "Rip Van 
Winkle." The book of the opera was "written" by 
Meilhac, "adapted" by H. B. Farnie, and "revised" by 
Dion Bouccicault. 

To Mansfield was given the role of the old Dutch inn- 
keeper, Nick Vedder. But he also persuaded the manage- 
ment to allow him to play Nick's son Jan in the last act. 
The willingness of a leading artist to do double service 
caused some amusement. Evidently this new arrival was 
manifesting "eccentricities." But neither then nor later 
was it his custom to take others into his confidence about 
his intentions or hopes. 

Invariably, before this production and again after, the 
success of this fable on the stage has been the opportunity 
of the actor playing Rip to appear first as a youth and 
later as a grizzled old veteran. On this occasion, how- 
ever, the attention of the audience was for two acts 
riveted on an ingenious bit of senile characterisation by 
Mansfield as old Vedder, and in the third act they were 
further astonished by his reappearance as Nick's own 
son, Jan, a round-faced, hearty, happy, lusty nimble- 



i88 2] MORE COMIC OPERA 95 

heeled, dashing young Dutchman of about twenty. The 
finish with which each character was played, the marked 
contrast between the two, yet the trace of the old father in 
the youthful son, were the values he depended upon for 
his favour with his audience. And he won. 

It cannot be said that he carried the piece to any suc- 
cess. However happy he was in his work, it was but an 
incident, though he devoted himself to it with prodigious 
interest. One chronicle credited him with having written 
the comedy scene in act two between Nick, Katrina, and 
the Burgomaster. The Dramatic Mirror found that " the 
little German volksliedj 'Gestern abend da,' introduced 
and admirably sung by Mr. Mansfield, was in the sur- 
rounding gloom like a ray of light in a shady place." The 
management decided to retire Rip as soon as something 
new could be made ready. 

The choice fell on the new Gilbert and Sullivan opera 
which these authors at first called "Perola." This title 
was afterward changed to "lolanthe, or the Peer and the 
Peri," and in this they departed from the initial "P" for 
the first time since success stamped their career of comic- 
opera collaboration. They evidently had the alliterative 
group- 'Pinafore," 'Pirates of Penzance," and "Pa- 
tience" in view when they had chosen "Perola, or the 
Peer and the Peri." The superstitious may believe that 
"lolanthe" would have been more fortunate with its earl- 
ier name. Other authors followed routine in naming their 
plays. Tom Robertson's list is distinguished by titles of 
a single short word "Home," "School," "Caste," 
"Dreams," "Society," "Progress," "Ours," "Play"; 
Charles Hoyt's farces always began with the article "A" 
-"A Tin Soldier," "A Hole in the Ground," "A Brass 
Monkey," "A Trip to Chinatown," "A Temperance 



96 RICHARD MANSFIELD [188* 

Town," "A Texas Steer"; Augustus Thomas at one time 
gave promise of naming each of his delightful plays after 
one of the States of the Union. 

Mansfield was under discussion for the leading comedy 
role of the Lord Chancellor in the New York production 
of "lolanthe." He was sent instead to Philadelphia to 
join the D'Oyly Carte company preparing to present the 
same opera there, acting in " Rip" until he left New York 
in the middle of November. 

While in Philadelphia he lived at the Lafayette Hotel, 
then situated on Broad Street near the corner of Chestnut, 
where one evening he gave unexpected proof of his skill as 
an actor off the stage as well as on. His slender means 
and a desire to nurse his restless nerves as far as possible 
from the noises of the street drove him into an inexpen- 
sive room at the top of the house. Before the days of 
fireproof buildings the danger in height played a large 
part in the price of hotel rooms. 

He never could sleep if he retired early, and it was two 
o'clock one morning when his last pipe went gray and he 
was making ready for bed. Just before putting out the 
lights he rang the bell for the hall boy to bring some drink- 
ing water. He made several trips to the button on the 
wall, but no one answered. Bad service always an- 
noyed him, and with mounting anger he drew on a 
dressing gown and went to the elevator to inquire the 
reason for such inefficiency. For five more minutes he 
stood pressing the elevator bell-button, still no one came. 
Manifestly the servants had chosen this small hour of the 
morning for a lark, doubtless with cards and dice, below 
in the porter's room. Thoroughly aroused, he started to 
walk down to the office. 

The long journey down nine flights of stairs gave him 



i88 2 ] FUN IN PHILADELPHIA 97 

ample opportunity to decide on the terms of his com- 
plaint. As he never cherished resentment, he was less 
than half way down when his sense of fun asserted itself. 
The scene he would act flashed upon him. Inevitably 
there was a twinkle in his eye as he rushed down the last 
steps and across to the desk, though his whole manner 
was eloquent of terror, indignation, and helplessness. 

"What is the matter with this house! Where are the 
servants! Why are no bells answered!" he cried, burst- 
ing suddenly upon the astonished clerk. "Fifteen min- 
utes ago a maniac broke into my room. I was alone and 
unarmed, for a small revolver with which I threatened 
him [he never had a weapon in his life] was empty. Only 
with the most consummate tact did I manage, without his 
discovering my purpose, to creep around to the call but- 
ton. There I stood with my back to the wall, my hand 
behind me, pushing that button for fifteen minutes- 
manoeuvring for time, arguing, threatening, begging that 
maniac for my life. Can you conceive of the situation, 
your hope of everything hanging on idle, neglectful ser- 
vants who do not come ? Finally I took my life in my 
hands, with a desperate ruse diverted his attention for a 
second, sprang out of the door, and rushed down here!" 

Mansfield's voice and manner left no emotion of the 
situation unexpressed. The clerk stood petrified with 
terror and apprehension. At last he found his voice and 
asked in a chattering tremolo: ' W-w-where is the man ?" 

"I don't know," replied Mansfield. " Roaming about 
the house, I presume. He has frightened all the fear out 
of me. Send the elevator boy. I'm going back to bed." 

The night of his debut as the Lord Chancellor was 
almost at hand when he was obliged to abandon the role 
to another. While rehearsing he became violently ill with 



98 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1882 

acute indigestion. This distress harassed him all his life 
and at times completely disorganised his nervous system, 
which was in his art an invaluable asset but in his life a 
treacherous enemy. When the distress became acute he 
would, with the exercise of heroic will power, control his 
nerves while acting, but the collapse afterward was as 
complete as it was inevitable. 

Even when a boy his stomach was his bete noir. So he 
wrote in 1873, in an album of questions and answers which 
belonged to his friend, Miss Abby Alger, daughter of the 
Rev. William Alger, of Boston. The interest in these 
confessions is decidedly heightened by the fact of their 
having been written in his sixteenth year. 

What is your favourite colour ? Rouge. 

What is your favourite flower ? Cauliflower. 

Your favourite painters ? Rembrandt, Claude Lor- 
raine and Turner. 

Your favourite musicians ? Bach ( ?). 

Your favourite piece of sculpture ? Laocoon. 

Your favourite poets ? Homer, Virgil, Shakespeare, 
Schiller. 

Your favourite poetesses ? Browning. 

Your favourite prose authors ? Dickens and Thack- 
eray. 

Your favourite character in Romance ? The character 
in the last novel I read. 

Your favourite character in History ? Wallenstein. 

Your favourite book to take up for an hour ? ' David 
Copperfield" or "Pickwick Papers." 

What book (not religious) would you part with last ? 
Horace (Odes). 

What epoch would you choose to have lived in ? The 
eighteenth century. 

Where would you like to live ? On the Lac di Como. 

What is your favourite amusement ? Boating. 



i88 2 ] YOUTHFUL PREFERENCES 99 

What traits of character do you most admire in man * 
Energy and perseverance. 

What traits of character do you most admire in women ? 
Grace, wit, and modesty. 

What trait do you most detest in each ? Humbug. 

What is your idea of happiness ? Renown and wealth. 

What is your idea of misery ? Lying in a swamp 
amidst the mosquitoes. 

What is your b2te-noir? Dyspepsia. 

What is your dream ? (He altered this question to 
"When do I dream ?" and wrote under "Dyspepsia" the 
word) Ditto. 

What do you most dread ? A bore. 

What do you believe to be your distinguishing charac- 
teristics ? All brass and no brass. 

What is the sublimest passion of which human nature 
is capable ? Ambition. 

What are the sweetest words in the world ? Dinner! 

What are the saddest ? " My boy, the servants have 
left us and you will be obliged to wash up the dishes, 
clean your boots, cook your breakfast, make your bed and 
stop at home." 

"lolanthe" was produced in Philadelphia, December 
5, without Mansfield in the cast. Presently another com- 
pany was organised to tour in this opera, and the D'Oyly 
Carte management lent him to play the Lord Chancellor. 
He was soon again in health, and appeared in this char- 
acter first on Monday evening, December 18, in Balti- 
more. 

It is a role which requires remarkable agility in dancing. 
The debut was accomplished in a wholly gratifying 
manner, and his success threatened him with a career on 
tour in the lesser cities of America, a mere continuation 
of the routine in England from which he had fled. 

If ever a blessing came disguised as a calamity, it now 



ioo RICHARD MANSFIELD 

befell Mansfield. On Wednesday night, on the occasion 
of his third performance of the nimble Lord Chancellor, 
that ankle which he had sprained two years before in 
Edinburgh again betrayed him. In spite of the severity 
of the sprain he finished the performance, but after the 
opera he insisted on taking the midnight train for New 
York. What impelled him, penniless, to resign and beset 
again in the middle of a winter season the apparently 
hopeless New York situation ? 

He may have had in mind a previous talk with A. M. 
Palmer, when he applied for a place in the celebrated 
Union Square Stock Company. Mr. Palmer was suavely 
diplomatic and generously courteous at all times. He 
had told Mansfield there was "no opening at present," 
but invited him to inquire again. 

On his arrival in New York Mansfield had the cabman 
put him down at the door of the Union Square Theatre. 
For two hours he waited for Mr. Palmer to arrive at his 
office. Finally the manager admitted him. Fearful 
that a knowledge of his real condition would prevent 
his engagement, Mansfield walked and stood before him 
on the swollen foot in spite of the pain. When he left he 
limped across the icy pavements into Union Square and 
fell fainting on a park bench. 

But he had not come in vain. Palmer had given him 
a bit to act, the small part of Tirandel, a young swell, 
excessively ennuy'e, in a play then in rehearsal, "A Pa- 
risian Romance," translated from the French of Octave 
Feuillet, by A. R. Cazauran, attached to Mr. Palmer's 
staff. 

The rehearsals were easy, for Tirandel never stands 
up except to sit down. The ankle mended rapidly. 
Mansfield was delighted with the group of distinguished 



i88 2 ] THE SPUR OF DISCONTENT 101 

artists in which he found himself as a member of one of 
the most celebrated companies the American theatre 
boasted. 

But contented he was not; he could not be. His am- 
bition was always reaching out. Years afterward he said 
to the writer, during a lull in a dress rehearsal: 'This 
responsibility and fatigue is overwhelming. See that 
bright, care-free, contented young fiddler there. He only 
plays a second violin, yet he is happy. I can't understand 
it. If I played second fiddle I should want to play first. 
Then I should want to lead. But I should next want a 
bigger orchestra, and yet a bigger. One who conducts 
must be able to compose, and I should want to write mag- 
nificent music. If I attained success as a composer, I 
should not be satisfied if I were not able to take first 
place." 

"And then?" 

He was silent, for he did not prefer always to admit 
practical conclusions. In a moment he sighed and con- 
fessed : 

'Then I should not be content." 

He entered with spirit into the interpretation of Tirandel, 
an easy morsel for him, but he watched another role with 
consuming avarice. In his heart he yearned to play the 
Baron Chevrial, already assigned to J. H. Stoddart, one 
of the most accomplished and popular artists in any New 
York company. 

The story of the memorable sequel is told by Mr. Stod- 
dart himself in his published "Recollections of a Player": 

The peculiar attributes of the part caused Mr. Palmer 
some doubt, for a time, as to a correct and judicious cast 
for it. Mr. Mansfield had been engaged, but as he was 
comparatively untried in legitimate work, his position in 



102 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1882 

the theatre was thought to be a minor one. After the 
reading of the play the company were unanimous in their 
opinion that "A Parisian Romance" was a one-part 
piece, and that part the Baron, and all the principals had 
their eye on him. After some delay and much expectancy 
the role was given to me. I was playing a strong part in 
'The Rantzaus," and my friends in the company con- 
gratulated me upon the opportunity thus presented of 
following it up with so powerful a successor. Miss Minnie 
Conway, who was a member of the company and had 
seen the play in Paris, said that she thought the Baron a 
strange part to give to me. "It's a Lester Wallack kind 
of part," she said. 

This information rather disconcerted me, but I re- 
hearsed the part for about a week, and then, being con- 
vinced that it did not suit me, I went to Mr. Palmer and 
told him I felt very doubtful as to whether I could do him 
or myself justice in it. He would not hear of my giving 
it up, saying that he knew me better than I did myself; 
that I was always doubtful; but that he was willing to 
take the risk. He also read a letter which he had received 
from some one in Paris, giving advice regarding the pro- 
duction, in which, among other things, it was said that 
Baron Chevrial was the principal part, that everything 
depended on him, and that " if you can get Stoddart to look 
\vell in full dress, he is the man you must have to play it." 

I left Mr. Palmer, resolved to try again, and do my 
best. Mr. Mansfield was cast in the play for a small 
part, and, I discovered, was watching me like a cat during 
rehearsals. A lot of fashion-plates were sent to my 
dressing-room, with instructions to select my costume. 
As I had hitherto been, for some time, associated with 
vagabonds, villains, etc., I think these fashion-plates had 
a tendency to unnerve me more than anything else. So 
I again went to Mr. Palmer and told him I could not 
possibly play the Baron. "You must," said Mr. Palmer. 
'I rather think Mr. Mansfield must have suspected some- 
thing of the sort, for he has been to me asking, in the 
event of your not playing it, that I give it to him. I have 



i888] A PROPHECY 103 

never seen Mr. Mansfield act; he has not had much ex- 
perience here, and might ruin the production." 

At Mr. Palmer's earnest solicitation, I promised to try 
it again. I had by this time worked myself into such a 
state of nervousness that my wife interfered. "All the 
theatres in the world," said she, "are not worth what you 
are suffering. Go and tell Mr. Palmer you positively can- 
not play the part." Fearing the outcome, I did not risk 
another interview with my manager, but sought out Mr. 
Cazauran, and returned the part to him, with a message 
to Mr. Palmer that I positively declined to play it. 

When the part of Chevrial was given to him, Mansfield 
was fascinated with his opportunity, but he kept his 
counsel. He applied every resource of his ability to the 
composition of his performance of the decrepit old rake. 
He sought specialists on the infirmities of roues, he studied 
specimens in clubs, on the avenue, and in hospitals: and 
in the privacy of his own room he practised make-ups for 
the part every spare moment. The rehearsals themselves 
were sufficiently uneventful. He gave evidence of a care- 
ful, workmanlike performance, but promise of nothing 
more. 

While he was working out the part Mansfield scarcely 
ate or slept. He had a habit of dining with a group of 
young Bohemians at a table d'hote in Sixth Avenue. 
The means of none of them made regularity at these 
forty-cent banquets possible, so his absence was meaning- 
less. One evening, however, he dropped into his accus- 
tomed chair, but tasted nothing. 

'What's the matter, Mansfield?'' asked one of the 
others. 

'To-morrow night I shall be famous," he said. "Come 
see the play." 

His friends were accustomed to lofty talk from him. 



io 4 RICHARD MANSFIELD 

His prophecy was answered with a light laugh and it had 
passed out of their memories as they drifted into the night. 
This was one of those intuitions to which he often con- 
fessed, and it told him that the years of apprenticeship 
were behind him and the artist in him was on the eve of 
acknowledgment. 



CHAPTER NINE 

(1883) 

His first appearance as Chevrial The criticism of old Maurice 
Strakosch Famous in a night Sustenance substituted for 
stimulants On tour with the Union Square Company Appears 
in Boston for the first time as a professional artist. 

A. M. PALMER'S tenancy of the Union Square Theatre 
furnishes one of the bright chapters in the history of the 
American theatre. It reflected in a notable degree the 
sound intelligence, shrewd judgment, graceful character, 
and irresistible personal charm of its director. Across 
his stage passed a harmonious procession of distinguished 
artists. For upward of a dozen years one successful 
play followed another in a sequence that was extraor- 
dinary. He rarely disappointed the high expectations 
raised by his previous performances, and each time that 
he opened his doors on the first night of a new work a 
list of those present furnished a digest of all who were 
most able, brilliant, and fashionable in the life of the 
metropolis. 

So on the night of January n, 1883, the theatre was 
radiant with an expectant audience half convinced in 
advance by the record of the Union Square's past, but by 
the same token exacting to a merciless degree to see 



10; 



io6 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 



[1883 



their old friends in the first performance in America of 
"A Parisian Romance." 1 

Mansfield made his entrance as the Baron Chevrial 
within a few moments after the rise of the curtain. It 
was effected in an unconcerned silence on the part of the 
audience. 

There were, on the other hand, the deserved "receptions" 
of old favourites by old friends, as Miss Jewett, Miss 
Vernon, Miss Carey, Mr. DeBelleville, Mr. Parselle, and 
Mr. Whiting came upon the scene. 

When Chevrial, finding himself alone with Tirandel 
and Laubaniere, exposed his amusingly cynical views ot 
life and society, some attention was paid to a remarkable 
portrait of a polished, but coarse, gay though ageing 
voluptuary. The scene was short and he was soon off, 
though not without a little impudent touch, in passing 
the maid in the doorway, that did not slip unnoticed. 



1 The cast was: 

Henri de Targy 

Signer Juliani . 

Dr. Chesnel 

The Baron Chevrial 

M. Tirandel 

M. Laubaniere 

M. Vaumartin . 

M. Trevy 

M. Falaise 

M. Duchalet . 

Ambroise . 

Pierre 

Marcelle de Targy 

Madame de Targy 

Rosa Guerin . 

Baroness Chevrial 

Mme. De Luce 

Mme. De Valmery 

Maris 

Gillette No. : 

Bertholdi . 

Gillette No. : 

Lombardi 

Bochsa 

Adela 



Mr. Frederick DeBelleville. 
Mr. Joseph W. Whiting. 
Mr. John Parselle. 
Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Mr. Walden Ramsey. 
Mr. G. S. Paxton. 
Mr. Owen Fawcett. 
Mr. A. Kaufman. 
Mr. A. Becks. 
Mr. W. Morse. 
Mr. Charles Collins. 
Mr. W. S. Quigley. 
Miss Sarah Jewett. 
Miss Ida Vernon. 
Miss Maude Harrison. 
Miss Eleanor Carey. 
Miss Nettie Guion. 
Miss Eloise Willis. 
Miss Nellie Wetherill. 
Miss Florence Levian. 
Miss Annie Wakeman. 
Miss Nellie Gordon. 
Miss Flora Lee . 
Miss Jennie Stuart. 
Miss Estelle Clinton. 




RICHARD MANSFIELD AS BARON CHEVRIAL IN "A PARISIAN 

ROMANCE" 

From an oil painting by Ednar Cameron 



i88 3 ] DEBUT AS THE BARON CHEVRIAL 107 

The dramatic disclosures which followed brought the act 
to a close with applause that augured well. Henri, 
Marcelle, and Mme. De Targy were called forward en- 
thusiastically. 

The second act revealed the Baron's chambers. With 
the exception of two minutes he was on the stage until the 
curtain fell. The Baron's effort, so precisely detailed, to 
reach and raise the dumb-bells, from the floor; the in- 
veterate libertine's interview with shrewd Rosa the 
danseuse, who took the tips he expected would impoverish 
her and thus put her in his power, for the purpose of play- 
ing them the other way; the biting deliberation of his 
interview with his good Baroness and Henri who comes 
to ruin himself to save his family's honour all held the 
audience with a new sensation. As he pushed his palsied 
arms into his coat and pulled himself fairly off his feeble 
feet in his effort to button it, turned up to his door hum- 
ming like a preying bumble-bee, faced slowly about again, 
his piercing little pink eyes darting with anticipation, and 
off the trembling old lips droned the telling speech: 'I 
wonder how his pretty little wife will bear poverty ? H'm ! 
We shall see" the curtain fell to applause which was 
for the newcomer alone. He had interested the audience 
and was talked about between the acts. 

Mr. Palmer rushed back to his dressing-room and found 
him studiously adding new touches to his make-up for 
the next act. 'Young man," exclaimed the manager, "do 
you know you're making a hit!" 'That's what I'm paid 
for," replied Mansfield without lowering the rabbit's-foot. 

The third act was largely Marcelle's. The Baron was 
on for an episodic interval, but succeeded in that he did 
not destroy the impression already created. 

The fourth act revealed a magnificent banquet hall with 



io8 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1883 

a huge table laden with crystal, silver, snowy linens, 
flowers, and lights. At the top of a short stairway at the 
back was a gallery and an arched window through which 
one looked up the green aisle of the Champs-Elysee to the 
Arc de Triomphe, dimly visible in the moonlight. The 
Baron entered for one last glance over the preparations 
for his petit souper for Rosa and her sisters of the ballet at 
the Opera. 

The effectiveness of his entrance was helped by his 
appearance behind a colonnade, and there he stood only 
half revealed, swaying unsteadily while his palsied hand 
adjusted his monocle to survey the scene. There was 
a flutter of applause from the audience but, appre- 
ciatively, it quickly hushed itself. He dragged himself 
forward. The cosmetic could not hide the growing pallour 
of the parchment drawn over the old reprobate's skull. 
He crept around the table and, with a marvellous piece 
of "business," by which he held his wobbly legs while he 
slowly swung a chair under him, collapsed. The picture 
was terrible but fascinating. People who would could 
not turn their heads. His valet was quick with water and 
held the glass in place on the salver while he directed it 
to the groping arm. The crystal clinked on Chevrial's 
teeth as he sucked the water. 

Presently he found his legs again and tottered up to the 
staircase. The picture of the black, shrivelled little man 
dragging his lifeless legs up to the gallery step by step was 
never forgotten by any one who saw it. At the top he 
turned and said in thrillingly ominous tones: "I do not 
wish to be disturbed in the morning. I shall need a long 
sleep"; and dragged himself out of sight. He had been 
on the stage five minutes and had said scarcely fifty words. 
The picture and the effect were unmistakable. The 



x88 3 ] CHEVRIAL'S TOASTS 109 

audience capitulated. There was a roar of applause 
which lasted several minutes. 

The whispered discussion of this scene was such that 
scarcely any attention was paid to the stage until the 
Baron returned. Almost immediately afterward the 
ballet girls pirouetted into the hall in a flutter of gauze, 
and the places at the table were rilled. No one listened 
to the lines, all eyes in the house were focussed on the 
withered, shrunken, flaccid little old Baron who sat at 
Rosa's right, ignored by every one about him as they 
gorged on his food and drank his wines. 

Soon he drew himself up on his feet and raising his glass 
said, "Here's to the god from whom our pleasures come. 
Here's to Plums and a million!" 

The gay throng about the table echoed the toast: 'To 
Plutus and a million!" and Chevrial continued: 

'While I am up I will give a second toast. Here's to 
Rosa! The most splendid incarnation that I know!" 

Placing the glass to her lips for a first sip the lecherous 
old pagan's own lips sought the spot, sipped, and he sank 
back into his chair. 

What else went on till he rose again no one knew or 
minded. No eye in the house could wander from the 
haggard, evil, smiling, but sinister old face. Presently he 
was up once more and, with his raised goblet brimming 
with champagne, he offered a third toast: 

'Here's to material Nature, the prolific mother of all 
we know, see, or hear. Here's to the matter that sparkles 
in our glasses, and runs through our veins as a river of 
youth; here's to the matter that our eyes caress as they 
dwell on the bloom of those young cheeks. Here's to the 
matter that here's to here's the matter the matter 
that here's " 



i io RICHARD MANSFIELD [1883 

The attack had seized him. Terrible and unforgetable 
was the picture -of the dissolution. The lips twitched, 
the eyes rolled white, the raised hand trembled, the wine 
sputtered like the broken syllables which the shattered 
memory would not send and the swollen tongue suddenly 
could not utter. For one moment of writhing agony he 
held the trembling glass aloft, then his arm dropped with 
a swiftness that shattered the crystal. Instinctively he 
groped up to the stairs for air and light. He reeled as if 
every step would be his last. Rosa helped him up to the 
window, but recoiled from him with a shriek. Again his 
hand flew up, but there was neither glass, wine, nor words. 
He rolled helplessly and fell to the floor, dead. The cur- 
tain fell. 

It was probably the most realistically detailed figure of 
refined moral and physical depravity, searched to its in- 
evitable end, the stage had ever seen. For a moment 
after the curtain fell there was a hush of awe and surprise. 
Then the audience found itself and called Mansfield to 
the footlights a dozen times. But neither then nor there- 
after would he appear until he had removed the wig and 
make-up of the dead Baron. There was no occasion to 
change his clothes; he wore the conventional evening suit. 
The effect of shrivelled undersizedness was purely a 
muscular effect of the actor. The contrast between the 
figure that fell at the head of the stairs and the athletic 
young gentleman who acknowledged the applause was no 
anticlimax. 

Mansfield had come into his own. The superb art of his 
performance had dwarfed all about it; the play was 
killed, but he was from that moment a figure to be reck- 
oned with in the history of the theatre. 

Next day the papers acclaimed him, but with the studied 




From a photograph, copyright 1883, by B. J. Falk 

RICHARD MANSFIELD AS BARON CHEVRIAL IN "A PARISIAN 

ROMANCE" 



iss 3 ] STRAKOSCH'S APPRECIATION in 

conservatism which can scarce believe what it has seen; 
with the understanding which is not sure of itself, and 
hence fears to betray itself. 

In the audience, however, was old Maurice Strakosch, 
who knew the artists of both hemispheres. He fairly ran 
across to Irving Place and up to a house full of musical 
celebrities, several pupils and friends of Madame Ruders- 
dorff, Bohemians who dared offer welcome to a midnight 
caller. Emma Thursby was among them, and she tells 
how the great man, crimson with enthusiasm, trembled 
with his agitation as he called every one about him to give 
his criticism of the event in the broad, sweeping, affection- 
ate terms of one who knew whereof he spoke and really 
knew that he knew: 

"I have to-night witnessed a wonderful event. I have- 
been to see 'A Parisian Romance.' The actor who played 
the Baron Chevrial was unknown till to-night. To- 
morrow he will be famous. My friends, it is the birth of a 
great career, the coming of a great artist! A GREAT 
artist! And do you know who he is ? He is Richie, our 
Richie, Richie Mansfield!" 

Next morning Mansfield woke up to find himself indeed 
famous. Famous in his twenty-sixth year! Yet David 
Garrick, as "a young gentleman who never before ap- 
peared on any stage," electrified London, in " King Rich- 
ard III," in his twenty-fifth year. Edwin Booth in his 
twenty-fifth year made his first metropolitan triumph as 
Hamlet. Henry Irving was somewhat older, in his 
thirtieth year, when he made his first emphatic individual 
success as Mathias in "The Bells." In other instances, 
genius in great actors usually manifested itself later. On 
the contrary, it is generally in evidence much earlier in 
women. 



ii2 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1883 

Mansfield soon suffered the bruises of the first step in 
his long climb to greatness. His triumph was very sweet, 
its obligations were exacting. A hearty recognition of his 
powers at this time would undoubtedly have had a lasting 
influence on his temperament and on his attitude toward 
the world. Those who came in contact with him, how- 
ever, were impatient, unyielding as he was unyielding, 
and his progress was embittered by the envy of those whose 
path lay parallel with his. His case was in some way anal- 
ogous with that of Mozart, whose father wrote of his boy's 
beginning: 'Thus indeed have people to scuffle their way 
through. If a man has no talent, his condition is unfortu- 
nate enough; if he has talent, he is persecuted by envy, 
and that in proportion to his skill." 

From a story related by an eyewitness of the incident, 
it is quite evident that Mansfield was from his earliest 
years on the stage as hypnotically transfused with the 
character he was acting as he certainly was later. He 
spent a couple of hours each evening "getting into his 
character," just as he related that his mother worked her- 
self into a terrible rage behind the scene before making 
her appearance as Lucrezia Borgia, and he did not drop it 
until he left it with its trappings in his dressing-room. 

As the story goes, one evening during the first months 
of Baron Chevrial at the Union Square Theatre, after the 
death scene, some players broke the spell he had created, 
and in which he still dwelt, by a coarse joke and a care- 
less laugh. He turned on them instantly and they received 
the sharp edge of his resentment. But he delivered the 
rebuke wholly in the polished, cynical, staccato manner of 
the Baron. It was Chevrial's censure, not Mansfield's. 
He did not for an instant come out of the character. 

When he began to play Chevrial he nursed the impres- 



i88 3 ] SUSTENANCE PS. STIMULANTS 113 

sion that he was not equal to the vital energy of the per- 
formance without stimulants. One night a friend, who 
happened to be a doctor, saw him sip the pint of cham- 
pagne, which was the allowance he felt the work de- 
manded, and pointed out that he was making a false start, 
for soon a pint would be impotent and his system would 
demand a quart; champagne would soon be too weak, 
so would whiskey, then brandy, and the way led straight 
to drugs. Mansfield recognised his friend's logic, and 
after that night determined not to touch stimulants from 
the time he rose in the morning until he reached home 
after the performance, when he allowed himself Irish or 
Scotch, with soda, during a friendly hour of relaxation. 
Sustenance was a different matter. During a long tax- 
ing performance he often took a dish of broth, a sand- 
wich of minced beef, or some such simple food. 

"A Parisian Romance" was carried by Mansfield's 
acting through to the termination of the season at the 
Union Square Theatre on April 7. It was customary for 
Mr. Palmer to take his company on tour, and the engage- 
ments played that spring included a week in Newark; a 
week at the Cosmopolitan Theatre, then at Broadway 
and 4ist Street, New York City; a week at Haverley's 
Theatre, Brooklyn; a week in Philadelphia; and three 
weeks at the Park Theatre, Boston. 

The first week in Boston was devoted to an earlier play 
of the Union Square Company, "The Rantzaus," in which 
Mr. Stoddart had achieved success. The public, how- 
ever, would buy tickets for nothing but "A Parisian 
Romance," and Mansfield, on May 14, made his first 
professional appearance in Boston on the identical stage 
where he had first acted Beau Farintosh in "School" 
eight years before. It was a proud return for him. His 



ii 4 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1883 

performance of Chevrial made him the hero of the season 
and after it was seen no other play was given. 

His old friends gave him a welcome that he never forgot. 
He could have devoted every wakeful moment to enter- 
tainments in his honour but, even so early in his public 
life, he insisted on denying himself diversion at the ex- 
pense of the strength he felt he owed his art and his 
public. With one other, a friend of them both, his first 
visit when he reached Boston was to Mount Auburn to 
the grave of his mother, a filial pilgrimage he repeated 
afterward whenever he visited that city. When he could 
tear himself away from other engagements he hunted up 
the old haunts the Studio Building, Mrs. Rand's, the 
quarters of the short-lived Buskins, and the Boylston 
Apartments, which was the scene of the nearest approach 
to home he was able to remember. 

The season closed May 26, and he sailed at once for his 
summer vacation in England, under contract with Mr. 
Palmer to return in the autumn and continue with the 
Union Square Company. 



CHAPTER TEN 

(1883-1885) 

With the Union Square Company in San Francisco and on tour 
Eastward Rifflardini in " French Flats" Purchases the rights to 
"A Parisian Romance" Begins his first starring tour Strug- 
gles and disaster Joins the company at the Madison Square 
Theatre and acts Von Dornfeld in "Alpine Roses" -In "La 
Vie Parisienne" at the Bijou To England and back Baron 
de Marsac in "Victor Durand" at Wallack's Nasoni in "Gas- 
parone" at the Standard Summer in London Experiments- 
Returns to America and creates Kraft in " In Spite of All." 

THE fall of 1883 disclosed Mansfield on the threshold 
of the struggle upward which covered the next fifteen 
years, and whose issue was a place near, though not yet 
on, the heights. The figure disclosed along the way is 
one of assurance, force, and courage, though for the 
greater part of the climb he drags a mill-stone of debt. 
There are bold, successful rushes. There are, too, many 
reverses from which he does not fail to stagger again to 
his feet and push along with new valour. 

The autumn tour of the Union Square Company be- 
gan in San Francisco, at the California Theatre, August 
13. The first week was given to "The Banker's Daugh- 
ter"; the second, to 'The Rantzaus"; the third, to 
"Daniel Rochat" and "The Lights o' London." "A 
Parisian Romance" was not acted until the fifth week. 

"5 



ii6 RICHARD MANSFIELD [iss 3 

Mansfield did not accompany the other players across 
the continent. He arrived from England early in August 
and remained in the East for several weeks. 

With him he brought an Englishman, Philip Beck, who 
was engaged as his business manager. 'What," ex- 
claimed one paragrapher, "does a stock actor with one 
hit to his credit want with a manager?' 1 And this sneer 
found a general echo. 

It was characteristic of him to do things that others did 
not understand and not to offer any explanation. Seem- 
ingly born to the purple, he had starved elegantly a few 
years before in London, and it was like him to invest his 
first dividends in his self-confidence and a retinue 
though it was a retinue of only one. 

His fellow-players could not understand this "eccen- 
tricity," and "young Mansfield's manager" became a 
joke. The glib whiffets of the press began that petty 
persecution which never ended till he laid down to his 
last rest. But he made no confidants in the face of 
raillery, and "what need a stock actor with one hit had for 
a business manager" was learned soon in the orderly 
course of his own devices. 

Mr. Palmer, the previous spring, had sold out all his 
interest in the Union Square, including the plays, to 
Sheridan Shook. Mansfield had his eye on "A Parisian 
Romance" for himself, to be the corner-stone of the career 
of which he was dreaming. 

He joined the Union Square Company in San Fran- 
cisco late in August, and he made his first appearance 
there, September 10, as the Baron Chevrial. During the 
latter half of the following and final week, "French 
Flats" was put up for the four final performances. This 
farce had been acted in New York several years before, 



x88 3 ] HIS FIRST STARRING TOUR 117 

but it was not until this occasion that Mansfield acted in 
it for the first time. 

He quite walked away with the honours as RifHardini, 
a French tenor, who is beset with the fear that his precious 
voice is going, and on every and all occasions bursts into 
trials of his high notes. The piece itself was a trifle, and 
Mansfield never considered RifHardini as more than an 
amusing bit of fooling. 

On the way East he played at the Tabor Opera House, 
Denver; the Olympic Theatre, St. Louis; Haverley's 
Theatre, Chicago; the Arch Street Theatre, Philadelphia; 
and the Park Theatre, Brooklyn. His appearance in 
Denver, St. Louis, and Chicago was his first in these 
cities. The entire Union Square repertoire was acted at 
first, but the interest in Mansfield's Baron Chevrial 
gradually brought "A Parisian Romance" forward as an 
almost exclusive feature. 

Offers now began to search him. The Directory of 
the Madison Square was especially forward. Mansfield, 
however, knew why he had engaged his own manager, 
and made no alliance. In November he resigned from 
the Union Square Company, with whom he appeared the 
last time while they were in Brooklyn. They came di- 
rectly across the river to their home theatre and produced 
"Storm Beaten." He purchased the rights to "A Parisian 
Romance," and announced a starring tour! 

"All brass and no brass," as he had written in Miss 
Alger's album, was his capital. A company was assem- 
bled and a creditable group of players it was with 
Leonard Outram as Henri de Targy, May Brokyn as 
Marcelle, Mrs. Charles Watson as the Baroness Chevrial, 
Mrs. Sol Smith as Madame de Targy, and Isabel Evesson 
as Rosa Guerin and he made his first appearance as a 



ii8 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1884 

star at the Park Theatre, Newark, where he acted Decem- 
ber 6, 7, and 8. The week following he made his stellar 
debut in New York City, at the Third Avenue Theatre, 
then under the management of McKee Rankin. 

Next he went to Montreal for a week at the Academy 
of Music the only house in which he acted thereafter in 
that city to Leland's Opera House, Albany, for a cheer- 
less Christmas, across the State to Buffalo, and to Louis- 
ville for a week beginning December 31, 1883. Business 
was wretched. The savings from his recent salary were 
exhausted before the opening of the tour, and from his 
meagre share of the heart-breaking receipts there was 
scarcely enough to pay the company. For himself he 
took only enough for lodging in the most ordinary hotels. 
The "jumps were made on the trunks" a well-known 
device in the old days of easy railroading before the Inter- 
State Commerce Commission, when the railroad agent 
would advance tickets to the next city on an order against 
the company's to-be-hoped-for advance sale there, and took 
the checks for their trunks and other baggage as a pledge. 

As the stay in Louisville dragged its weary length along, 
Friday gave no promise of more money on the week than 
enough to pay hotel bills and half salaries. Advertising, 
posting, and paper, and transfer accounts were all rolling 
up on successfully manipulated credit. Beyond this 
loomed the expenses of transportation to St. Louis. That 
night the house was poor enough, though rather better 
than before, and Mansfield in his gratitude planned a 
surprise for his audience. The enthusiasm of those 
present was very great all through the evening, but es- 
pecially after the fourth act, when there were endless calls 
and cries for a speech. His stage manager was sent 
before the curtain to say that if they would remain after 



i88 4 ] HIS COMPANY DISBANDS 119 

the next act, Mr. Mansfield would be glad to make his 
acknowledgment of their compliment. When the last 
curtain fell on "The Romance," ready hands were found 
to roll a piano down to the footlights. Mansfield re- 
appeared and said he would try to entertain them for a 
few minutes with an improvisation, which they might call 
"Our Concert Party." No one left. The musicians 
remained in their places, the actors and the stage-hands 
crowded the wings. His songs and anecdotes, imitations, 
and musical whimsicalities kept the audience in a roar, 
and they recalled him for more and more and more, until 
a pianissimo passage was interrupted with the strokes of 
twelve o'clock from a neighbouring clock tower. 

Next morning the impromptu became the talk of the 
town, and both Saturday audiences demanded the extra 
measure, to which he good-naturedly acceded. The at- 
tendance was somewhat larger than earlier, and with 
these small additional receipts and by other means, he 
was able to continue his tour, and reached St. Louis, 
where he played at the People's Theatre. The following 
Sunday he managed to raise money enough to make the 
journey to Cincinnati, but he was unknown in that city and 
the theatre remained empty all week. The struggle was 
hopeless, and his first starring tour collapsed on Saturday 
night. 

Out of his own pocket he emptied his last dollar, and at 
least had the satisfaction of buying tickets back to New 
York for every member of his company. He waved them 
off cheerily and stayed behind, without a penny, to shift 
as best he could. While in Cincinnati he and his valet 
lived at the Hotel Emery. 

Smothering his pride, he confessed his dilemma to 
Walter H. Maxwell, the cashier of the hotel, and asked 



120 RICHARD MANSFIELD [l8 8 4 

the loan of one hundred dollars. He did not ask in vain 
nor did he fail punctually on his arrival in New York to 
remit the sum of the loan. They never again met, but ten 
years later Mr. Maxwell ventured to recall this incident 
in asking for seats, which he received with this note which 
indicated the red blood in Mansfield's veins: 

I do remember you, and I remember you with great 
gratitude you assisted me in the hour of need. I hope 
I shall never forget your kindness. You are aware that 
you may command my services at all times. 
Very sincerely yours, 

RICHARD MANSFIELD. 
If I can be of more material service please let me know. 

During the season of Mansfield's first disastrous inde- 
pendent effort Henry Irving made his first tour of America 
in a shower of gold. 

When he reached New York Mansfield found an open- 
ing awaiting him at the Madison Square Theatre, and on 
Thursday evening, January 31, 1884, he appeared with the 
stock company there in" Alpine Roses," ' a drama by Hjal- 
mar Boyesen, based in part on several of his short stories. 

The Evening Post of the following day contains an in- 
forming account of Mansfield's relation to the enterprise: 

'The Count von Dornfeld, who is constantly upon the 
stage, has the slightest possible dramatic significance 



1 The cast was not uninteresting 
Ilka .... 
Irma 
Uberta 
Hansel 

Count Gerhard von Dornfeld 
Countess von Dornfeld 
Herr von Steinegg . 
Julius Hahn 
Wimple . 
Rondel 



Miss Georgia Cayvan. 
Miss Marie Burroughs. 
Mrs. Thomas Whiffen. 
Mr. George Clarke. 
Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Mme. Liska von Starmvitz. 
Mr. Thomas Whiffen. 
Mr. W. J. LeMoyne. 
Mr. W. H. Pope.' 
Mr. Harry Hogan. 



i88 4 ] 



ANOTHER BARON 



121 



. . . characters which are not sympathetic in them- 
selves cannot excite sympathy, no matter how cleverly 
they are drawn. . . . Mr. Richard Mansfield, to whom 
was assigned the thankless part of the Count, sacrificed 
himself to the exigencies of probability. He played the 
character as written: a colourless lounger with nothing to 
recommend him but courage and honourable instincts. 
He is not likely to get much credit for the performance, 
but his work was highly finished and artistic throughout. 
His reading of Irma's pledge was especially clever. Mr. 
Mansfield's conceit is always too obvious, but he is a 
very bright young actor and will have a career when he has 
learned to put a less extravagant estimate upon himself." 
He remained with the company for upward of fifty 
performances. He withdrew to come into Broadway to 
the Bijou Theatre management, to which he was loaned 
by the Madison Square Directory, and soon after his 
retirement "Alpine Roses" ceased to bloom. The pro- 
ject at the Bijou was a production of "La Vie Parisienne" 
one of Offenbach's lightest works, with an English 
libretto by H. B. Farnie which was accomplished on 
Tuesday evening, March iS. 1 

1 The principals in the cast were: 

The Baron von Wiener Schnitzel . Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
(By kind permission of the manage- 
ment of the Madison Square Theatre.) 

Joe Turrididdle . Mr. Jacques Kruger. 

Delancey Splinderbarre 
Lord Silverspoons 
Snip . 
Toby 

Tanon Bisch 
Flounce 
Gabrielle 
Trixie 

Christine von Schnitzel 
Lady Katherine Wyverne 
Among those who had small parts were Henry Rolland, Arthur MacDonald, 
Percy Sage (as Baby Green), Joseph Silver and Laura Burt. Gustave Kerker 
directed the orchestra. 



Mr. Nick Long. 
Mr. Charles W. Dungan. 
Mr. Samuel Reed. 
Mr. George Schiller. 
Mr. Alen M. Bell. 
Miss Marie Bockel. 
Miss Fannie Rice. 
Miss Blanche Stone. 
Miss Kate Davis. 
Miss Alice Vincent. 



122 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1885 

The advertisements read rather quaintly to-day with 
their boasts about the " unprecedented gas effects. " Elec- 
tric light was not used on the stage until several years 
later. 

Mansfield was the redeeming feature of a very sad 
occasion. It was said that "whenever he came on the 
stage a smile of relief appeared on every face." One 
song, which he sang in English, French, German, and 
Spanish tickled the people mightily, but on the whole 
this Baron was one of whose acquaintance he was never 
heard to boast. 

On his return to New York he had taken chambers in 
West Twenty-ninth Street, which his taste made notably 
elegant. His midnight suppers soon began to be talked 
about, for he was developing into an incomparable host, 
as will appear later. 

In May, 1884, he slipped away on the steamer Samaria 
to England, and was lost to sight for upward of six months. 
If he was negotiating a London engagement, it was evi- 
dent that nothing agreeable presented itself, for he re- 
turned to New York just before Christmas, and was 
immediately announced at Wallack's Theatre. 

The Wallack Company had produced Henry Guy 
Carleton's 'Victor Durand," a contemporary play of 
French life, on December 18, 1884, with Lewis Morrison 
as the Baron de Mersac, a polished French villain who 
furnished the unsympathetic interest. On January 15, 
1885, Mansfield succeeded Morrison as the Baron he 
seemed destined to play Barons as fast as the playwrights 
could provide them; and he gave this specious villain an 
air of refinement and a tone of plausibility which heightened 
the effect of the play. 

Foreseeing the early retirement of 'Victor Durand," 




RICHARD MAXSFIELD IN 1884 
From a photograph taken in Boston 



i88 5 ] AN OBSCURE LONDON INTERVAL 123 

which, on February 16, succumbed to the inattention of 
the public, Mansfield accepted another comic-opera en- 
gagement, and moved up Broadway a few blocks to the 
scene of his American debut, the Standard Theatre. 
Here, on February 21, he appeared for the first time with 
the Duff Opera Company, singing the leading comedy 
part in Millocker's comic opera, "Gasparone." ' 

The critics commended him as "an exceedingly fertile 
and graceful comedian, who lifts the Podesta far above 
the other characters of the play," though "in fairness it 
deserves not to be so"; his by-play was "extremely 
subtle," and "he led the minuet with a delicious grace." 

"Gasperone" lasted until April 4, and Mansfield was 
cast for Sir Joseph Porter in " H. M. S. Pinafore," which 
followed, but there was a disagreement, he resigned and 
returned to England. It was an unprofitable winter in 
every respect. There had been less than four months of 
employment, and surely neither De Mersac or the Podesta 
added anything to his artistic stature. 

He naturally snapped at the first opportunity offered 
in London. There was in preparation at Drury Lane a 
drama by Elliott Galer, entitled "A True Story Told in 
Two Cities," and he was cast for Lord Cholmondelay, but 
it came to nothing. Mansfield next joined a cast which 
was to present "Gringoire" at the Prince's Theatre, and 
did there act Louis XI, to the Gringoire of Norman 



1 It was produced with this cast: 

Nasoni, Podesta of Syracuse 

Sindulfo . 

Count Erminio 

Luigi 

Benozzo, innkeeper 

Messaccio, smuggler 

Carlotta . 

Lora 

Zenobia . 

Marietta . 



Richard Mansfield. 
W. H. Fitzgerald. 
Harry S. Hilliard. 
John E. Nash. 
Alfred Klein. 
Charles Stanley. 
Emma Seebold. 
Mae St. John. 
Hattie Nefflin. 
Alice Vincent. 



i2 4 RICHARD MANSFIELD [ l8 s 5 

Forbes and the Louise of Dorothy Dene, at a special 
matinee June 22. Personal friends of the participants 
were the only ones present, and a masterly embodiment 
of the senile old French tyrant was projected without 
attention or record. 

Discouraged, and again on the verge of starvation, he 
returned to America in August, and was engaged to sup- 
port Minnie Maddern (afterward Mrs. Fiske) at the 
Lyceum Theatre. The new play was "In Spite of All," 
of which the genesis is not without interest. A decade 
earlier there had been a play called "Agnes," in which 
Agnes Ethel made a wondrous fine effect. In some way 
the story of this American success fell into the hands of 
Victorien Sardou, who wrote his "Andrea" from it 
perhaps in the same way as it was later claimed that he 
wrote 'La Tosca" from Maurice Barrymore's "Nad- 
jesda." Sardou's "Andrea" was Englished later and 
became Charles Reade's "Jealousy." This fell under 
the hand of Steele Mackaye, who waved his magic pen 
and it was altered into "In Spite of All." 

This play was presented first at the Lyceum Theatre 
(the old Lyceum on Fourth Avenue, sometimes called 
'The Snuggery") on September 15, 1885. 1 

It is said that Herr Kraft was written in for Mansfield. 
He provided an amusing and at times deeply touching 
characterisation of the impresario, which assisted materi- 
ally in the pleasant success of Miss Maddern and the play. 

In a letter (September 23) to a friend he wrote: "lam 

1 The cast was: 

Alice Claudenning . Miss Minnie Maddern. 



Stella 
Carol Claudenning . 
Mr. Hartman . 
Jack Knickerbocker 
Herr Antonius Kraft 



Mme. Selina Delaro. 
Mr. Eben Plympton. 
Mr. John A. Lane. 
Mr. Joseph Frankau. 
Mr. Richard Mansfield. 



i88 5 ] A HOPEFUL OUTLOOK 125 

getting such splendid notices all around. I do believe 
the dark clouds have disappeared for a time at least. 
And the play is quite a success. Mackaye says the next 
play is to be written for me at the Lyceum he is at work 
on the scenario." 

But this plan came to naught. Mansfield accompanied 
Miss Maddern on tour, and very soon John Stetson, the 
rough-and-ready Boston manager, was tempting him, and 
he resigned just before Christmas and went to Boston. 



CHAPTER ELEVEN 

(1886-1887) 

The stellar temperament Sings Ko-Ko in Boston Originality 
Creates Prince Karl at the Boston Museum Acts Prince Karl 
in New York A summer run Beatrice Cameron joins his 
company "I Love the Woods" Touring in "Prince Karl" 
Diffident about thanks. 

MANSFIELD was born to "star." This manifested it- 
self in every aspect of his life. At the head of things he 
had complete command of the situation and of himself. 
Anywhere else he went to pieces, his strong personality 
shattered proportions, and order was not restored until 
he eliminated himself or took the lead. His personality 
demanded complete self-assertion. He could not put 
himself in conformity to extraneous conditions. But he 
had a genius for putting environing persons and things 
in harmony with himself. As a lad at school he could 
lead the boys in studies or in a race, but he was not suc- 
cessful in taking his place in a team. At the head of his 
Dwn table he was a miracle of hospitality, cordiality, and 
deference, and spared no personal exertion to charm his 
guests. But he was never a guest except at great personal 
sacrifice to his preference and composure. 

He lamented this, and often wished he had more of the 
faculty of social blend. He once exclaimed to a friend: 
"Come, let's have some fun. Others have fun, why can't 

126 



1886] INDIVIDUALISM 127 

we ?" Extreme sensitiveness had much to do with this, and 
in his later years his great fame gave him a painful aver- 
sion to the attention which his appearance in public places 
attracted. His inability to understand the second violin- 
ist whose ambitions stopped short of a position at the 
head of all composers was but an expression of a will 
which fretted under any leash. He could not serve. 
This made as well as dominated his career. In the early 
days of "finding himself" in Boston his inconstancy was 
due to lack of command of his resources. In the days of 
struggling for bread and for position on the stage he lived 
in an agony of unrest as a supporting player compelled 
to interpret the point of view of another stage manager. 
With the best intention, he gave a performance which 
was unrepresentative of him because it was not complete 
self-expression. 

So even when his salary in these first years on the 
American stage was large and occupation might have been 
continuous, his unrest tossed him from company to com- 
pany, from drama to opera, and back again, apparently 
compassless. He designed to be an actor, never a singing 
comedian, yet when he left "In Spite of All," it was to 
revert again to comic opera. The work, experience, or 
association was not what he wanted. It was the money 
to enable him to liberate himself on to the plane to which 
he firmly believed his destiny drew him. His head was 
full of plans of a large nature, but his pocket jingled only 
small change. 

The winter of 1885-1886 saw a vogue for Gilbert and 
Sullivan's "The Mikado" in America which had scarcely 
been duplicated since the years of the first Dickens's 
dramatisations, when three different companies in New 
York played "David Copperfield" the same night. 



128 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 



[1886 



In Boston an old church in Hollis Street, an obscure 
little alley-way running a distance of scarcely more than 
a hundred yards, was converted into a theatre bearing 
the street's name, and was opened early in November 
with John Stetson's company in "The Mikado." l 

John Howson had not made a success of the leading 
role, and the shrewd Stetson saw by the declining receipts 
that his valuable property would be ruined if something 
were not done to revive interest. He demanded new life 
of Howson, but the comedian protested that he played 
Ko-Ko as he had learned the part in London under Gil- 
bert's tuition, and declined to change the "business" of 
his performance in any respect. There were high words 
and a resignation. F. A. Leon, the understudy, played 
while Stetson hunted a new Ko-Ko. He wired Mans- 
field, who was at the time playing with Minnie Maddern 
in Liberty Hall, Pittsburg, and baited his telegram with a 
large salary. Mansfield came within ten days. 

His grasp of the situation was eminently characteristic. 
He had never seen Howson, but inquiry discovered that 
he had been loud, pompous, and boisterous. Mansfield's 
friends all came in fear and trembling the night of his 
first appearance as Ko-Ko. There was, of course, the 
Mansfield surprise. The opera had been running for 
months, and every line and every entrance and exit were 
familiar to the public. The deepest anxiety seized his 
friends when the cue came for Ko-Ko's entrance. In- 



1 The cast was in part: 

The Mikado 
Nanki Poo 
Ko-Ko . 
Pooh-Bah 
Yum Yum 
Pitti Sing 
Katisha 



Mr. Arthur Wilkinson, 
Mr. S. Cadwallader. 
Mr. John Howson. 
Mr. Brocolini. 
Miss Laura Clement. 
Miss Hattie Delaro. 
Miss Rosa Cooke. 



i886] SINGS KO-KO 129 

stead of the blustering, romping, pompous Jap the public 
were accustomed to, they saw Mansfield tiptoe quietly 
but with an unmistakable authority to the footlights, 
throw up his head, open his mouth very wide and whisper 
the lay of the Lord High Executioner who was "Taken 
from the County Jail," in a wee, light voice quite pianis- 
simo. But his tones were charming, his diction perfect, 
his business original, and the whole effect so irresistibly 
comic that he was a success on the instant. Had his pre- 
decessor been a quiet man, Mansfield would undoubtedly 
have made his Ko-Ko pompous and fortissimo, and none 
the less successful. 

Mansfield joined "The Mikado" on the seventy-sixth 
night of its run and he carried it to its one hundredth and 
sixty-first representation, sustaining the interest against 
numerous rival Mikado companies in the city and in the 
suburban towns. 

Archibald Clavering Gunter had at this time given no 
indication of the success he was later to make with "Mr. 
Barnes of New York" and "Mr. Potter of Texas." He 
came to Boston in January to introduce himself to Mans- 
field, who was living at the Parker House, and to read 
him the manuscript of a new play he had written. The 
character with which he hoped to interest Mansfield was 
that of a German Prince who acted as courier to a party 
of Americans in Europe and fell in love with one of them. 
The piece as Gunter had written it was a melodrama, but 
Mansfield saw possibilities in it for a farce, and the author 
remained with him and worked over his suggestions. 

From the first Ko-Ko was galling to Mansfield. His 
own success and the renewed life he had brought the 
run at the Hollis Street Theatre failed to recompense him 
for acting the clown. He was eager to do Mr. Gunter's 



130 RICHARD MANSFIELD 

comedy, and finally decided to resign from "The Mikado." 
Stetson saw disaster ahead if he lost Mansfield. As he 
owned the Globe, he offered Mansfield this theatre in 
which to produce the new comedy if he would continue 
with "The Mikado" until it had worn out its welcome. 
Mansfield was delighted and entered with renewed interest 
on the performance of the Lord High Executioner. He 
soon discovered, however, that Stetson, plumed by the 
renewed life he had given the "Mikado" craze, was actual- 
ly preparing to present another company in this same opera 
at the Globe during the time promised him. 

He exuded his humours in every fibre. His friends 
could tell his state of mind and temperament before he 
entered a room by his knock on the door. The day he 
learned of the second Mikado company there was a feeble 
tap at George Munzig's door in the old Studio Building. 
It was Mansfield, and he was disconsolate: "It's all up, 
George. Stetson has betrayed me." But four days later 
there was a firm triple knock on the same door panel with 
the force and resonance of a hammer's blow. Again it 
was Mansfield. 'It's all right, George. Martinet has 
deserted the Museum. They're up a stump. I've seen 
Field and he has promised to produce my newcomedy." 
The exploit was rehearsed with a myriad of new details 
and the friends went off to celebrate with venison which 
Mansfield compounded in a chafing dish, with savoury 
garnishments of olives, leeks, butter, sherry, mushrooms, 
and jelly, and the friends drank the success of the new 
comedy in champagne and the sun shone once more in 
his heart. 

The Boston Museum for years possessed a stock 
company which was in its day as much the pride of the 
Massachusetts capital as Colonel Higginson's Symphony 



i886] AT THE BOSTON MUSEUM 131 

Orchestra came to be later. To be admitted there as a 
visiting star, to exploit an unproduced play, was one of the 
most flattering concessions any young actor could have 
asked. 

Dion Boucicault had made this winter of 1885 and 
1886 memorable with a long run of his play, "The Jilt." 
When the popular Irish playwright-actor concluded his 
stay, Sadie Martinot deserted with him. In this emer- 
gency Sardou's "Diplomacy" was revived for a few weeks 
-with John Mason as Julian Beauclerc, Charles Barron 
as Henri, Charles Kent as OrlofF, Alfred Hudson as Baron 
Stein, and Annie Clarke as Countess Zicka and Mans- 
field's new comedy was put in rehearsal. 

As "Diplomacy" showed no strength, Mansfield was 
asked to act Baron Chevrial for a week, to which he con- 
sented in spite of the study, responsibility, and rehearsals 
of the other play. The branch of the Museum Company 
which had no parts in the coming production took the 
parts in "A Parisian Romance." It was a busy stage 
during March with performances of the current bill and 
two plays in preparation Mansfield the presiding genius 
of both of them, and continuing his own performances in 
"The Mikado" at another theatre! 

When his former manager, A. M. Palmer, heard that 
Mansfield was to act Ko-Ko for the last time on Saturday 
night, March 27, and to appear the following Monday 
night in "A Parisian Romance," he wired him: 'For 
God's sake, don't make a fool of yourself!" 

Mansfield, on the contrary, saw a distinct value to him- 
self in being able to present the marked contrasts between 
the comic-singing Japanese, the decrepit French roue, and 
the debonnaire young German he had up his sleeve. Not 
only variety, but contrast, was the keynote of his choice 



i 3 2 RICHARD MANSFIELD [ l8 86 

of plays. A glance through the sequence of his later 
creations, when he controlled the choice of characters 
and plays will show that he delighted in pointing his 
versatility by alternating tragedy, comedy, and farce, 
youth with old age, the sinister with the sympathetic. 
Even in arranging a week's repetition of the plays of his 
repertoire, his unsparing purpose was to alternate "the 
grave and gay," to shift from "lively to severe." 

"A Parisian Romance" was acted at the Museum for 
one week, beginning March 29, with John Mason as 
Henri, Annie Clarke as Madame de Targy (a charming 
performance which she repeated as a member of Mans- 
field's company twelve years after); May Davenport, 
daughter of E. L. Davenport and wife of William Sey- 
mour, as Baroness Chevnal; and Maida Craigen as Rosa. 

There was until a few days before production some 
doubt as to what the new play might best be called, but 
it was finally christened "Prince Karl," and as such was 
acted for the first time on the stage of the Boston Museum, 
April 5- 1 

On the same evening, at the Boston Theatre, down in 
Washington Street, Denman Thompson first presented 
'The Old Homestead." He played nothing else the rest 
of his life and became a very rich man. Mansfield might 
have continued to play "Prince Karl" the rest of his life, 
but he repudiated it and other like opportunities, and 
died hundreds of thousands of dollars poorer than he 
might have been. 

1 With the following principals: 



Karl von Ahrmien 

Spartan Spotts . 

J. Cool Dragon 

Marky Davis . 

Mrs. Daphne Dabury Lowell 

Mrs. Florence Lowell 

Miss Alicia Euclid Lowell, of Vassar 



Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Mr. Charles Kent. 
Mr. William Seymour. 
Mr. James Nolan. 
Mrs. Vincent. 
Miss Maida Craigen. 
Miss Helen Dayne. 




RICHARD MANSFIELD IN 
"PRINCE KARL" 

From a photograph, n.pyri^ht. 1807, I'.v 
J. M. Harl d- Co. 



i886] 'PRINCE KARL" 133 

"Prince Karl" was acted at the Museum for four weeks, 
and was then transferred, with the identical cast, to the 
stage of the Madison Square Theatre, New York City, 
where it was played first on May 3. 

Mansfield's own appreciation of the play, of its success, 
of his own obligation, and of what he dared hope is ex- 
pressed in a letter, written at the moment of leaving Bos- 
ton, to a friend who had written his congratulations on the 
New York opportunity: 

I cannot express the pleasure I feel. This engagement, 
like the first one at the Union Square Theatre and the 
last one at the Boston Museum, came as a surprise to me. 
Of course, I contemplated following up my success at the 
Museum by a starring tour and it was to have been made 
under the direction of Mr. Field, but I did not expect that 
my season would begin so soon, and that I should be given 
an opportunity to present my latest characterisation in 
the Metropolis, and at such a theatre as the Madison 
Square. These managers have paid me a great compli- 
ment, and I thoroughly appreciate it. I could not make 
my reappearance in New York under circumstances more 
gratifying to me as an actor and a man. The audiences 
at the Madison Square Theatre are composed of the very 
best people in New York. I shall be surrounded by the 
same capable actors and actresses of the Museum com- 
pany who have contributed so much to my success here 
in Boston, and with whom I am on the most friendly 
terms, each of whom is, I believe, interested in my success, 
and, best of all, I shall have on either side of me Manager 
Palmer and Manager Field, who are closely associated 
and identified with the two greatest successes of my pro- 
fessional life. What more could I wish for ? Mr. Field 
has been very kind to me, and has done all in his power 
to make my stay as his house pleasant, and Mr. Palmer 
has ever treated me courteously, kindly, and generously. 
He aided me by his advice when I most needed it, and 



134 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1886 

gave me encouragement when adverse criticism and the 
annoyances, which I am sorry to say are consequent on 
success in theatrical life, had wellnigh caused me to lose 
hope. The value of the friendship of two such men to a 
young actor cannot be overestimated or too highly prized. 

While I am pleased at the prospect which the immediate 
future presents, I am, nevertheless, nervous and anxious 
as to the result of the experiment. It is a question whether 
New York will receive me with favour in "Prince Karl," 
which is so diametrically the opposite of the Baron 
Chevrial, and I frankly confess that it would be a severe 
blow to me, after my great success here in your city, not 
to have Boston's favourable judgment endorsed by the 
people and critics of the Metropolis. I am afraid even 
that my success here may lead the New York people to 
look for too much from me. They may expect to witness 
a very great artistic triumph and they may judge the piece 
and my performance by too high a standard. " Prince 
Karl" is simply a fairy story, full of improbabilities and 
intentional absurdities; it is farcical, melodramatic, and 
romantic, and it is designed solely for a pleasant evening's 
entertainment, and as such I hope it will be regarded. 

Have I succeeded or have I failed is a question which 
can only be answered by next Monday evening's audience. 
Of one thing I am certain, and that is, that if I fail it 
will be due to no lack of hard work and conscientious 
effort on my part. I shall give the public the best there 
is in me, and earnestly and honestly strive to hold its good 
opinion. 

Reticent in some respects in bestowing its appreciation 
New York eventually took "Prince Karl" to its heart. 
The farce was criticised severely, but the incomparable 
light comedy performance of Mansfield as the Prince was 
praisefully recognised as the antithesis at every point of 
anything he had yet revealed. The humour was of 
character rather than situation and incident, and his 



i886] A STAR IN NEW YORK 135 

unfolding of the role of the young Prince was pervaded 
with a distinction and manly heartiness, with an intensity 
and nervous power, giving vigour alike to humour and 
sentiment, that indicated a rare histrion. The stage had 
been saturated with plebeian German dialect, and Mans- 
field's well-bred accent of the patrician German had a 
charm of novelty as well as of grace, melody, and humour. 
George William Curtis called his performance "the per- 
fection of fooling." 

He worked incessantly on the play and on the character, 
and in a few weeks they presented many new aspects. He 
wrote an entirely new last act, and in the third act in- 
troduced a musical monologue, which the Prince rehearsed 
quite naturally for the benefit of his young bride. No 
one who heard him can forget the cleverness with which 
he imitated the great pianist who cannot be heard at the 
musicale for the conversational hum about him, the musical 
drollery of his violoncello solo sans 'cello; and the bur- 
lesque comic opera in which he sang tenor cantate, basso 
profundo, colourature soprano, and even the irrelevant but 
inevitable chorus which broke in on every possible and 
impossible occasion with "Let us sheer ze bride, ze merry, 
merry bride!" 

Of these beginnings in New York he wrote a confidant 
under date of May 16, 1886: 'To-day we commenced 
our third week at the Madison Square in 'Prince Karl.' 
I am carrying it. Although the first week I only cleared 
fifty dollars and last week one hundred dollars, if it 
only goes on doubling like that we will be satisfied. This 
week the Museum company is not with me and I have an 
entirely new company, so Mr. Field does not share with 
me, and I am entirely alone boss of the show! I sup- 
pose you will say, 'Ah, Dick will like that '--but I don't 



136 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1886 

very much. It's terribly hard work, and the new com- 
pany had to be gotten ready in three days, and I fear they 
will give a terribly bad performance to-night; and then 
the anxiety is great, for I cannot afford to lose money. 
However, I think the play has caught on and we shall 
make a success of it. Seems funny, doesn't it, my being 
manager of the Madison Square Theatre ? Supposing, 
just supposing, it ran all summer! This is the turning 
point in my career if I only succeed!" 

There were no notable names in the new cast except 
that of Clara Fisher Maeder who came to act Mrs. Daphne 
Lowell. But to the appearance of one of the unknown 
names, that of Beatrice Cameron, there attaches much 
significance in this chronicle. Mrs. Maeder was in the 
twilight of a distinguished career. Miss Cameron was at 
the beginning. 

She was a frail wisp of a golden-haired girl with a 
countenance alive with sweetness and intelligence, and 
bristling with a nervous force as compelling as her natural 
grace and charm were winning. Her home was in Troy, 
N. Y., where some success in amateur exhibitions directed 
her attention to the professional stage. She came to New 
York and soon after appeared, at a special matinee, at the 
Madison Square Theatre in "A Midnight Marriage," 
which was produced by Mrs. James Brown Potter. Not 
long after she secured an engagement with Mr. Robert 
Mantell in "Called Back," in which she played a boy. 
Next she acted with one of Charles Hoyt's companies, 
then fell heir to the pretty part of Constance in Bron- 
son Howard's "Young Mrs. Winthrop," and directly ap- 
peared in "Arrah-na-Pogue," which Charles Stevenson 
was acting. This tour having concluded, she sought a 
part for the summer, hard enough to get, before the days 




MISS BEATRICE CAMERON 

From a photograph, copyright, by Elliott f Fry 



i886] BEATRICE CAMERON 137 

of the summer stock company, and with delightful candour 
called on Mr. Mansfield and said she wanted to act Flor- 
ence. He searched her refined, sanguine face and capitu- 
lated at once. Miss Cameron justified his judgment by 
a fascinating performance of Florence, and the company 
settled down like a happy family for a merry summer. 

The weather was mercifully cool for this time of the 
year, but every evening ices were served between the acts 
in neat boxes from Maillard's on the corner under the 
Fifth Avenue Hotel, with a little silver spoon engraved 
'With Prince Karl's Compliments." Young ladies began 
to wear Prince Karl finger rings, and the Prince's portrait 
became a "photographic best-seller." Prince Karl won 
his way into the crevices of every one's affection, even into 
the correspondence of Americans abroad, as is witnessed 
by an amusing letter which Nat Goodwin wrote home 
from Nuremberg: 

'The only difference I can see between the ancient 
gentlemen who built these castles and the successful men 
about New York is that the former got broke building 
them and the latter by going to see 'em. Their prices 
are regulated in this innocent land by the extent of the 
ruin and the baggage of the sight-seer. They know a 
Yankee gripsack as far as they can see one. . . . The 
imitations of Dick Mansfield as Prince Karl are numerous 
and excellent. At Cologne (what's in a name ? by that 
of Hunter's Point 'twould smell as rank) we met a perfect 
type of the Prince, buttoned up in a very green second- 
low comedy uniform. He conducted us to a very nice 
hotel and undertook to speak English. As I am a superior 
German scholar, after a contortionary half hour we en- 
listed the services of a third, and during the afternoon I 
made them understand that I was weary and wanted to 



138 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1886 

lay down. My imitation of George L. Fox [the cele- 
brated clown and pantomimist] accomplished this, and I 
got a room." 

Mansfield in those days had apartments in the Croisic, 
at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Twenty-sixth Street. 
Here he began his collection of furniture and china, art 
objects, rugs, silver, and tapestry. Fortunately, the ap- 
preciation of the antique had not then become general, 
and he was able to accumulate a marvellous collection 
without going into debt, at least without plunging himself 
so irrevocably into bankruptcy as the same treasures 
would have a decade later. He had in fact been genteely 
in debt for years. 

Whispers that floated out from his supper parties hinted 
of his courtliness and grace, his abundant satire and 
delicious wit, his vaporous moods of irresponsible teasing, 
romping, and pretence, or how "when worthy minds wait- 
ed upon his prismatic own he was impetuously eloquent 
and decorous, full of lofty thought and superb expression." 

Beau, wit, poet, painter, musician, and master of his 
own and many kindred arts, he began to be talked about 
as a personage as well as an artist. His study, his 
professional occupation, and his aversion to personal 
publicity sealed the crevices in the wall which always 
hemmed him in. And who shall say it was not as much a 
wall of seclusion as of exclusion ? Once over the barrier 
and inside the garden of his confidences, intimacies, and 
affections, those whom he admitted found a blithe, gay, 
unaffected friend. 

Prince Karl's merry course soon brought up against a 
stone wall in the person of William Gillette, the author 
of 'Held by the Enemy," who had a contract for time 
at the Madison Square Theatre beginning August 16. 



i886] "I LOVE THE WOODS" 139 

Mansfield offered a bonus of two thousand dollars for an 
extension, but it was refused, and his New York run was 
forced to a termination, Saturday night, August 14, after 
117 performances. 

At the end of the play, on his farewell night, he expressed 
his gratitude to the public in an amusing speech, and 
later gave a supper to a room full of good friends, who in- 
cluded W. J. Florence, Ballard Smith, General George 
A. Sheridan, Tom Ochiltree, and others. Colonel Ochil- 
tree was a Texas Congressman who became a celebrated 
figure in New York life as a story-teller, bon-vivant and 
gallant. On this occasion Mansfield ventured some com- 

O 

pliments in introducing Ochiltree, to which the Texas wit 
is said to have replied: 'That's right, Mansfield, plenty 
of taffy while I'm alive and less epitaphy when I'm dead!" 
Next day Mansfield hurried off for a breath of the 
Maine woods with Boston friends who were waiting him. 
While there he wrote these verses, "I Love the Woods," 
which later were printed: 

I love the woods. 
Oh, give me but that crag of rock 

On which to build my simple cot, 
And I'll not ask for palaces, 

Nor murmur at my lonely lot. 

I do not need the silken garb 

The cushioned couch or seasoned food; 

I do not need the tongue of men 

To voice the word that "Life is good." 

I do not need the amber scent, 

The honeyed smile and tutored song, 

Or crowd of glittering sycophants 
That in the walls of Croesus throng. 



i 4 o RICHARD MANSFIELD [1886 

I love the woods. 
When o'er the distant line of hills 

The rosy morning peeps its head, 
And stars that through the night have watched, 

Now quench their light and go to bed, 

I rise from couch of perfumed pine 
And seek the purling brook that flows 

Between its fringe of velvet moss, 

Where tiny turquoise blossom blows. 

I need no marble fountain rare 

To purify and lave and clean, 
And when I say my grateful prayer 

'Tis in His mighty dome of green. 

I love the woods. 
My silent friend, my faithful dog, 

The horse that hastens to my call, 
The birds that sing above my head 

They constitute my all in all. 

I breathe the forest's filtered air, 

The breeze that cools the mountain brow, 

The snow-clad summit's atmosphere, 
And praise the Lord I'm living now. 
I love the woods. 

Mansfield's tour the next season began at the Park 
Theatre, Boston, August 30, and he played in Philadelphia 
at the Walnut Street Theatre, in Baltimore, Washington, 
Cincinnati, St. Louis, Pittsburg, Cleveland (where he cele- 
brated the first Christmas at the head of his own company, 
save the sad one in Albany during the disastrous first tour 
in "A Parisian Romance," and had a tree, presents, 
and supper on the stage for the members of his com- 
pany and the employes of the Park Theatre), Chicago, 



i88 7 ] GENEROSITY 141 

three engagements during the winter of 1886-1887, Louis- 
ville, Detroit, Omaha, St. Paul, Minneapolis, back to 
Washington, Philadelphia, New York for three weeks at 
the Union Square Theatre, Harlem, Williamsburg, Boston 
at the Park Theatre, and the larger New England cities, 
concluding and disbanding the company April 25. 

"Prince Karl" was played exclusively, and those who 
saw him were charmed, but the substance that follows a 
reputation came slowly. In most cities he appeared for 
the first time. What was made by large audiences one 
week was lost through beggarly attendance the next. The 
net result was broken ground and seed planted. He 
refers to this tour in one of his letters: 'We expected to 
do a great deal better than we are doing, but I suppose it 
was not to be expected. After all, I am comparatively 
unknown to the masses, and I must plod on and bide my 
time, and every year I shall do better and better." In 
another he says: 'I must work hard to lay the secure 
foundations of my fortunes. I am very tired and weary of 
it all, it's such a struggle, but I am determined to conquer!" 

In the papers of this winter one reads: "Mr. Mansfield 
has written a new first act for 'Prince Karl'"; again, in 
Boston, ''Mansfield should act Shylock"; and, in the 
Dramatic Mirror, 'Five members of Mr. Mansfield's 
company have been disabled by illness from two to four 
weeks, but not one cent has been deducted from salaries." 
This was his rule even in the days of hardest struggle. 
Many an actor can testify to salary continued through 
months of illness, hospital bills paid, many thoughtful at- 
tentions, and a position held open on his return. Once 
in Canada a stage mechanic fell ill and died. Mansfield 
inquired of his manager what he was doing about the 
funeral. When he heard that the members of the com- 



i 4 2 RICHARD MANSFIELD [iss 7 

pany were subscribing to a fund, his indignation broke 
out in no unmeasured terms: : 'No collections in my com- 
pany. Never. Return every cent. Pay all the bills and 
charge them to my account." In this and other ways 
his hand went continually into his pocket. He had a 
curious diffidence about being thanked, he was embar- 
rassed to the point of a brusqueness that was not always 
understood. 

He never expected the return of a loan, and, knowing 
this, his servants sometimes made the most of it. There 
was, however, one old valet, who, having borrowed five 
dollars, presented himself before his master one morning 
with a broad grin on his face and a somewhat worn bill 
in the palm of his hand. Mansfield glanced at the ex- 
tended hand: "Dear me, what on earth is that?' 

"You did me the honour ' began the valet. 

"Do you expect me to take that filthy rag ? Ugh! It's 
a nest of germs. Do you want to poison me ? Take it 
away. Take it away! Burn it! Do anything you like 
with it. But don't try to kill me with it." 

To all appearances he was furious, but the valet under- 
stood the little comedy, and he shuffled away with thanks 
in his heart which he dared not utter for the unutterable 
kindness in his master's. 

The next Monday, after closing the "Prince Karl" 
tour, Mansfield opened with the Boston Museum com- 
pany as the Baron Chevrial. Four of Boston's leading 
physicians, accompanied by Dr. Compton of Liverpool, 
came on April 30 to investigate the scientific features of 
the celebrated death scene, and in a paper to their medical 
society they reported it a remarkably faithful study. This 
engagement at the Museum was a prelude to the new 
play in preparation for some time and now quite ready. 



CHAPTER TWELVE 

(1887-1888) 

Creates Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at the Boston Museum His own 
views on the dual character Creates De Jadot in his own 
"Monsieur" at the Madison Square Another summer run 
On tour with a repertoire Mr. Hyde at a midnight supper 
Henry Irving suggests a London season at the Lyceum. 

MANSFIELD was eminently catholic in his reading, his 
devotion to the classic and standard authors in no way 
precluding an interest in the latest novel. He dearly 
loved a mystery tale, if of the sea so much the better. 
Among the books he picked up the previous spring was 
Robert Louis Stevenson's new story, " Dr. Jekyll and Mr. 
Hyde," and it held him captive to the very end. 

He foresaw an extraordinary triumph if his powers 
could visualise to an audience, as his 'magination pre- 
sented to him, the contrast between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. 
Hyde, the weird transformations of the man into the fiend 
and back again, and the gradual absorption of the good 
man by the evil man as expressed in the increasing diffi- 
culty of controlling the reversion from Hyde to Jekyll. 
He foresaw not only his opportunity to project a powerful 
performance on the stage, but the ethical effect of the 
noble moral which underlies this fable of the struggle 
between good and evil in man and the inevitable control 

143 



144 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1887 

of the good by the evil if experimented with instead of 
being firmly curbed in the beginning. 

When he laid the book down it was to write to the 
author for the privilege of making a dramatisation. Ste- 
venson concurred heartily, and the English and Ameri- 
can rights to any play from this source were soon con- 
tracted. 

Mansfield was playing in Boston at the time, and he 
urged his friend, Thomas Russell Sullivan, to make the 
play. Sullivan doubted the possibilities of a drama in 
the little story which offered all the difficulty of duality 
in the hero and no hint of the conventionally prescribed 
love interest and lighter relief. Mansfield at once exposed 
a scenario which his imagination had already conjured 
up, repeated a few of the Hyde passages with ghastly 
gutturals and in demoniac posture that frightened his 
friend out of several nights' sleep, and urged him to 
read the book again, with the gentle warning, "If 
you don't dramatise it, some one else will." Sullivan 
accepted the commission and delivered the play during 
the winter. 

It departed from the book only in the elaboration of 
merely suggested detail, and in developing a love story 
between Dr. Jekyll and a beautiful young creature, Agnes 
Carew, the daughter of Sir Danvers Carew, who is mur- 
dered by Hyde. In essence it reflected faithfully the 
duality of the character, the transitions, and the tragic 
moral of the final submersion of Jekyll in Hyde. 

It was rehearsed barely two weeks while he played "A 
Parisian Romance," but he brought to the first rehearsal, 
as he did always when preparing a production before or 
after, a perfectly composed characterisation. His re- 
hearsals were largely to set up the environment of the com- 



i88 7 ] "DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE" 145 

pleted central figure. 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" was 
first acted on any stage at the Boston Museum, May 9, 
1887.' 

Mansfield approached the experiment with grave fore- 
bodings. Could he in the presence of a vast audience 
effect the transformation from Hyde to Jekyll in such a 
manner as to strike absolute conviction ? He afterward 
confessed : ' That night in the third act where as Hyde I 
grasped the potion, swallowed it, writhed in the awful 
agony of transformation and rose pale and erect, the 
visualised embodiment of Jekyll an ague of apprehen- 
sion seized me and I suffered a lifetime in the silence in 
which the curtain fell. In another instant I realised that 
silence was the tribute of the awe and terror inspired by 
the reality of the scene, for through the canvas screen 
came a muffled roar which was the sweetest sound I ever 
heard in my life, and I breathed again." 

At this time he played "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" only 
one week. It was far too emotional, tragic, and absorb- 
ing either for himself or for his audiences during the 
summer. He kept it in the background from May 14 to 
September 12, that same year, 1887, when he acted it in 
New York City, first at the Madison Square Theatre. 
The praise his performance received from the press was 
in most quarters unreserved, and his audiences did him 



1 With this cast: 

Sir Danvers Carew . 

Dr. Lanyon 

Gabriel Utterson 

Poole 

Inspector Newcomer 

Jar vis 

Dr. Jekyll 

Mr. Hyde 

Mrs. Lanyon . 

Agnes Carew . 

Rebecca Moore 



Mr. Boyd Putnam. 
Mr. Alfred Hudson. 
Mr. Frazer Coulter. 
Mr. James Burrows. 
Mr. Arthur Falkland. 
Mr. J. K. Applebee, Jr. 

Mr. Richard Mansfield. 

Miss Kate Ryan. 
Miss Isabelle Evesson. 
Miss Emma Sheridan. 



146 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1887 

the compliment to pack the theatre and proclaim the un- 
forgetable effect of his acting. 

He was sometimes criticised for not making Jekyll 
more normal, affable, companionable. But this would 
not have been in harmony with his conception. He be- 
lieved in simplicity and directness. His aim was to mark 
the contrast between the two entities, but without losing 
sight of the salient, dominant point of each character. 
He conceived and exhibited Jekyll as a man haunted by 
the most terrible loathsome fiend that the mind could 
conceive in human form. He had to indicate yet restrain 
the carking secret of his soul, the ceaseless terror of the 
uncontrollable change which might come at any moment 
in the street, in the house of his friends, in his sweetheart's 
presence. Jekyll was a haunted man. A man set apart. 
Only an unimaginative actor would have played him for 
ease, indifference, geniality. 

One of Mansfield's purely theatric devices for horror 
was to convey the suggestion that Hyde was coming. 
This was effected with an empty stage, a gray, green-shot 
gloom, and oppressive silence. The curiosity was fas- 
cinating and whetted every nerve. At such a stage as 
this (the audience having seen Hyde before) the anticipa- 
tion and the prolonged anticipation, the searching of the 
black corners for the first evidence of the demon all begot 
an hypnotic effect on the hushed, breathless spectators 
that held them in the fetters of invincible interest. Then 
with a wolfish howl, a panther's leap, and the leer of a 
fiend Hyde was miraculously in view. It was at such a 
time as that that strong men shuddered and women 
fainted and were carried out of the theatre. 

People went away from "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" 
afraid to enter their houses alone. They feared to sleep 




RICHARD MANSFIELD IN "DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE" 



i88 7 ] THE TRANSFORMATION 147 

in darkened rooms. They were awakened by nightmare. 
Yet it had the fascination of crime and mystery, and they 
came again and again. 

Such an effect as that described, while a testimony of 
his stage management, he deprecated as no gauge of his 
quality as actor. It was to the last act that he pointed 
with all the pride which he took in this performance. 
During twenty minutes he held the stage alone with only 
one interruption. The scene represented Dr. Jekyll's 
cabinet in broad daylight, and disclosed the harassed man 
overwhelmed with the knowledge that the drugs with 
which he had controlled the changes were accidental in 
composition and not to be duplicated. The transitions 
to Hyde were increasingly recurrent, in fact Hyde con- 
trolled Jekyll and Jekyll no longer controlled Hyde. His 
soul-sadness, his tender despair, his haunted anticipation 
of the reversion to bestial Hyde as the convulsions seized 
him, his pitiful, agonised attitude as he stood before the 
mirror dreading to remove his hands for fear of the 
demon's face they would reveal, his cry of joy as he dis- 
covered that the change had not yet come and he was 
still Henry Jekyll these were all accomplished by Mans- 
field with simple, lofty, and invincible art, and produced 
effects on the spectator more profound and quite as thrill- 
ing as the theatric scenes preceding. 

Every one speculated on the secret of the transforma- 
tions which they saw yet could not believe. He was 
accused of using acids, phosphorus, and all manner of 
chemicals. The mystery spread to London, where some 
one declared it was "all perfectly simple. He uses a 
rubber suit which he inflates and exhausts at pleasure!" 
Mansfield told the simple facts and caused them to be 
repeatedly published, that his only change was in the 



148 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1887 

muscles of his face, the tones of his yielding voice, and the 
posture of his body, which as Hyde he poised in a crouch- 
ing position on his toes, swaying and bounding with an 
agility which gave a weird, spectral quality in the half 
lights of the night. Believe him ? Of course not. Such 
candour was too transparently suspicious and only further 
stimulated the amateur theorist. 

Mansfield found so little understanding of the charac- 
ters of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the discussions ot 
his performance that he consented finally to write his 
views at length. They appeared in the New York Sun 
of December 31, 1887. The concluding paragraphs are 
quoted: 

To me the last act is immensely touching. Jekyll, 
aroused to the full horror of the situation; Jekyll, the 
loved, the admired, the wealthy; Jekyll, who had the 
world at his feet, and all the pleasures and all the happi- 
ness the world could afford, if he chose, in his grasp; 
Jekyll, in his youth, in his strength, with the knowledge 
that he is closeted with death and such a death! It 
seems to me that if there ever was a moral powerfully 
taught, it is here. I wish I could act it as well as I 
feel it. 

The gentlemen who say in the journals that there is 
no necessity to make the play so strong, that there is no 
use in displaying so horrible a character upon the stage 
or of lingering over the agony of Jekyll, seem to forget 
that as long as the actor acts, he will consider the highest 
form of his art the display of the most powerful passions 
of men, and that he will strive at all times to choose such 
subjects as will best afford him opportunity to sway and 
impress his audience. It is our aim and our end in view. 
I do not delight to hear that just so many women have 
fainted of an evening in the theatre, but I, my art, and my 
nature, receive a fresh stimulus and inspiration from the 



i88 7 ] SOME OPINIONS 149 

breathless silence and the rapt attention of my auditors. 
As long as the dramatic art flourishes, despite all men may 
say or write from private motives of their own, the world 
will go to see that which stirs and moves it; and it will 
ever support the actor who puts his whole heart and soul, 
all his enthusiasm, his energy, his earnestness, his sin- 
cerity into his work. In reply to the criticism that the 
moral contained in this story of Jekyll and Hyde could 
be taught equally persuasively by gentler and prettier 
means, I have only to point to the great masters, and ask 
why Shakespeare piled horror upon horror in "Richard 
III" and "Macbeth," why Othello smothers the beautiful 
Desdemona and then cuts his throat or stabs himself, why 
everybody is killed in "Hamlet," and why even "Romeo 
and Juliet" carries us to the tomb? You may say, "the 
thoughts and the language of Shakespeare," and I stop 
you. Find me a Shakespeare to-day and I will certainly 
engage him. In the meanwhile I am satisfied, for want of 
better, with the thoughts of Stevenson and the dramatisa- 
tion of a young American scholar, Sullivan. It is the best 
I can find, and the best I can give you. For myself, I 
give all I have. In time, if God spares me, I hope it will 
be better. I shall try. 

Meantime, the summer had not been passed in idle- 
ness. After accomplishing "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" in 
Boston, he disappeared from the public eye for a fortnight, 
but it was to gather together his family of players and 
rehearse 'Prince Karl," which was the bill when he 
began a summer season in New York at the Madison 
Square Theatre, on Monday evening, May 30. He 
turned the little foyer and auditorium into a conservatory 
of bloom and fragrance, and in June gave the 5OOth per- 
formance of the courier Prince. 

Besides acting and travelling continually the previous 
winter, rewriting the first and last acts of "Prince Karl," 



5 o 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 



[1887 



and supervising the dramatisation of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. 
Hyde," Mansfield, with the dash and energy and artistic 
fecundity so characteristic of him, found time to write an 
original comedy. It was a trifle, to be sure, and he did 
not dignify it more pretentiously than as " a sketch." He 
wrote it under pressure in three days. 

One afternoon he read it to the ladies and gentlemen 
of his company, and their appreciation led to its rehearsal. 
Every one was sworn to secrecy on the point of author- 
ship, and "Monsieur" was announced for July n. 1 But, 
as a celebrated Frenchwoman has said: "A secret known 
to two is no longer a secret," and here was one known to 
a score. Gossip ferreted the facts and Mansfield "owned 
the soft impeachment." 

The story was a slender trifle and followed the fortunes 
of a young French gentleman of sensitive, noble nature 
and an imperfect English accent, a singer and composer, 
who came to New York, and in the attempt to earn his 
living by his art almost starved. He succeeded, however, in 
winning the love of Alice Golden, the spirited daughter of 
a pair of nouveaux riches. At a musicale given by Alice's 
parents, M. de Jadot, who had been invited that he might 
entertain the company, fainted at the piano from lack of 
food. When Alice restored him, they disclosed their 
mutual affections. The result of this avowal was that 



1 The cast of the first presentation of 
Andre Rossini Mario de Jadot 
Alice Golden . 
Mrs. Elisabeth Ann Golden 
Mrs. Mary Pettigrew 
Mrs. Morton . 
Sally 

Tom Vanderhuysen 
Edgar J. Golden 
Morton Saunders 
Popples . 
The Hon. Charles Mt. Vernon 



'Monsieur" was: 

Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Miss Beatrice Cameron. 
Miss Josephine Laurens. 
Miss Annie O'Neill. 
Miss Helen Glidden. 
Miss Johnstone Bennett. 
Mr. John T. Sullivan. 
Mr. D. H. Harkins. 
Mr. Joseph Frankau. 
Mr. Harry Gwynnette. 
Mr. John Parry. 



i88 7 ] "MONSIEUR" 151 

the young couple married in defiance of the girl's parents, 
and lived, loved, and suffered the pinches of poverty to- 
gether in an attic, while M. de Jadot was trying to find a 
manager to produce his opera or to give him an entree on 
the stage. Their friends did not desert them, but, on the 
contrary, called much at their attic, and Alice's father 
showed a disposition to make up, which was temporarily 
checked by her mother. Finally, when Alice's parents 
were on the point of being ruined by a swindler, it turned 
out that M. de Jadot's uncle had died in France and left 
him the title of Count and "an estate of millions." The 
young Frenchman was as sweet in prosperity as he had 
been brave in adversity, and the curtain fell upon smiling 
peace and plenty. 

Mansfield's acting of De Jadot would have redeemed a 
slenderer trifle than "Monsieur." He imbued his hero 
with a naive interest that made him continually amusing, 
without ever permitting the audience to forget that the 
poor beggar before them was patrician to the finger 
tips. His broken English came in delicate bits, and was 
as artistic in indicating the little musician's French origin 
as Prince Karl's English had been in betraying the Ger- 
man influence. Because the public demanded his imita- 
tions and musical parodies, and they helped draw the so- 
much-needed receipts to the little house, he made a place 
for them in the second act; but one of the tenderest and 
yet most amusing incidents of the play was his prepara- 
tion of " the sandwich of cheeken " for his poor starving 
little wife, and his delicious fooling in serving it to her 
with the air and manner of a grand garcon in a restaurant. 

The scene in the first act, when he began bravely to 
sing, his throat gradually dried, his voice choked and he 
fainted, was a transcription from his own first experience 



152 RICHARD MANSFIELD [iss 7 

on the stage in London in the German Reed Entertain- 
ment. Some people affected to see in the little comedy 
a palpable hit at Mapleson and at manners and musical 
taste in New York society at the time. As for Mans- 
field, he neither made claims nor entertained high hopes 
for his sketch. Nevertheless its wit, delicacy, sprightliness 
and human charm made it possible to continue the run 
for eight weeks during the hottest season of the year. 

He always contended that ''Monsieur" would have 
made more of a success with the public, if the public had 
been able to make more of a success of the pronunciation 
of the title. The name of a play should be striking to 
the eye, easy to remember, and tripping on the tongue. 
Monsieur is, as a matter of fact, one of the very hardest 
words in the French language foi an American to pro- 
nounce. The public tried and failed, and covered their 
failure with a burlesque of it, and so the little play was taken 
less seriously than if it had been called 'The French- 
man," or some other simple name at first as it was later. 

The run of "Monsieur" terminated on Saturday even- 
ing, September 10, and the Monday evening following 
"Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" received its first performance 
in New York with results already indicated. He was 
deaf to all persuasions to continue beyond October i, the 
date originally fixed for leaving the Madison Square 
Theatre, and, as always, gave the public less of 'Dr. 
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" than was wanted, and so kept the 
appetite stimulated. 

He now had a repertoire of four popular characters 
the Baron Chevrial, Prince Karl, Monsieur de Jadot, and 
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde a group admirably calculated 
to disclose his versatile artistry in impressively contrasting 
phases. They constituted his offering for a tour which 



isssj A LONG TOUR 153 

began at the Chestnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, 
October 3, and included engagements in the following 
sequence: at Hooley's Theatre, Chicago; John Ellsler's 
Park Theatre, Cleveland; the Bijou, Pittsburgh; the 
Holliday Street, Baltimore; Albaugh's, Washington; the 
Grand Opera House, Cincinnati; Macauley's, Louisville; 
the Olympic, St. Louis; and then, for the first time in his 
career, and with some pride, no doubt, after his former 
struggles and disappointment, he brought his company 
by special train to New York for an engagement of four 
weeks at the Fifth Avenue Theatre, his first on this stage. 
The tour was resumed January 16 at the Globe Theatre, 
Boston, whence it extended to Colonel Sinn's Park 
Theatre, Brooklyn; the Grand Opera House, New York; 
White's Grand Opera House, Detroit; the Chestnut Street 
Theatre, Philadelphia; Albaugh's, Washington; the Acad- 
emy of Music, Jersey City; the Park Theatre, Brooklyn; 
the Museum, Boston, for four weeks beginning May 7, 
and to the Madison Square Theatre, New York, for a 
month, which terminated his season on June 25, 1888. 
On his final Friday at the Madison Square Theatre, he 
entertained his fellow-artists at a specially acted matinee 
performance. Hundreds were unable to find seatings, 
but the throng admitted gave him an ovation to which he 
responded feelingly, with assurances that the praise of 
his brother artists was more reassuring than any other he 
had received. 

Since he assumed the role of Ko-Ko on January 14, 1886, 
he had acted over two years and a half consecutively, 
summer and winter, with two respites of two weeks each, 
which were devoted almost entirely to rehearsals and the 
arduous labour of preparing productions. Of vacation 
he had taken just exactly four days! 



154 RICHARD MANSFIELD 

Now, as always, he was an enigma to the contented and 
the unimaginative. To so many of this type an actor's 
life is a mellow career of gossip and good-fellowship. 
From the first Mansfield realised his latent gifts. Others 
may have sneered at his aspirations, but he believed 
in destiny, and believed, though he never admitted it and 
scorned it when suggested, that fame had its seal on him. 
He did not know how he would reach the goal, but his 
eyes were ever on the stars, and with his whole heart, 
soul, talents, confidence, and strength he worked to fulfil 
his obligations. 

His perseverance, unflagging devotion to his art, his 
deep sincerity allied to his native talents, now recognised 
as of a high order, were winning him something of the 
eminence of which he dreamed and in which he was 
determined to force the public to place him. The winter 
of 1887-1888 developed several incidents, some trifling, 
but amusing, some illustrative of his character or progress, 
and some significant of events to come. 

It has been said that Mansfield repudiated any artificial 
means in effecting his marvellous transformation from 
Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. His friend, De Wolf Hopper- 
for whose comic skill on the stage and irresistible personal 
good-fellowship off the stage, Mansfield always enter- 
tained sincere admiration attests the facts in this anec- 
dote: 

" I was supping with Mansfield one night in his rooms 
at the Continental Hotel, Philadelphia, after our respec- 
tive performances, while his Jekyll and Hyde was in the 
first bloom of its terror-spreading triumph. There was a 
single heavily hooded green lamp over the table at an 
angle which lighted our faces and threw the rest of the 
spacious chambers into cavernous shadows. I remember 



i888j HYDE AT MIDNIGHT 155 

there was even a bell in a neighbouring tower which broke 
into the subsequent recital with weird opportuneness. 
Mansfield seldom talked shop and never off the stage 
exploited his professional achievements. He sang, played, 
narrated with a witchery of expression and improvised 
scenes with alluring fecundity. But the sock and buskin 
was far away in his dressing-room. This night, however, 
he yielded to my plea and told me of his sensations when 
he appeared first as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in Boston; 
of that critical make-or-ruin first change from Jekyll to 
Hyde; of the ghastly silence of the audience for seconds 
that seemed minutes and shrieked failure in his heart; 
and then the whirlwind of applause; the exhilarating, 
overwhelming sense of success. I was spellbound by his 
graphic eloquence. The shadows tightened all about us, 
and I saw nothing but his luminous countenance. In a 
burst of sympathetic enthusiasm I asked what he did and 
how he did it. And then and there, only four feet away, 
under the green light, as that booming clock struck the 
hour he did it changed to Hyde before my very eyes 
and I remember that I, startled to pieces, jumped up and 
cried that I'd ring the bell if he didn't stop!" 

The final four weeks of the season were played in the 
most oppressive heat. When, on Saturday, June 23, he 
picked up his morning paper and read a list of the deaths 
of man and beast from sunstroke the day before, he de- 
clared he would not act or be so inhuman as to ask his 
fellow-players to act in such heat, closed the theatre until 
the following Monday, and gave his company conge. 

The great popularity he established for " Dr. Jekyll and 
Mr. Hyde" disclosed the fact early in the season that the 
book was insufficiently protected under the copyright law. 
Other versions of every type, from indifferent to unmen- 



156 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1888 

tionable, sprung up like mushrooms all over the country. 
One manager, touring in the remote sections of New Eng- 
land, advertised that his Mr. Hyde was the most terrible 
of all and had to be kept chained in a box car en route 
and in the theatre. He had the town hall crowded every 
night. The only one, of all those at this time playing 
'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," who at all threatened 
Mansfield's interests was a German-American actor named 
Daniel Bandmann. Of the two performances, the 
Lounger in the New York Dispatch, of July 18, 1888, 
says: 'Bandmann, whose prominence in this matter 
is next to that of Mansfield, could not stand the test of 
comparison with the young actor. New York saw both 
of them essay the role, and while it shivered at Mansfield, 
it only smiled at Bandmann. The former was weird, the 
latter grotesque." 

Henry Irving was again in America for the season of 
1887-1888. On every hand he heard of the young genius 
whose rise was meteoric. Firmly entrenched in his own 
position at the head of the London stage, by a diplomacy 
which drew every one to him and held them in bonds of 
sweet fealty, Irving's wisdom foresaw a rival artist, if in any 
one in America, in Mansfield, whose published programme 
included Nero, Shylock, Richard III, and Cagliostro. 

He saw the younger actor and invited him to come to 
London and appear in his own Lyceum Theatre. Flat- 
tered beyond measure, Mansfield paused to consider no 
expediency, deferred readily to Irving's terms, and agreed 
to begin his season in London on the third of September 
next following. : 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" was an- 
nounced for the opening bill. 

Mansfield wrote a characteristic note to a friend at this 
time : 



i888] TO ENGLAND 157 

'For the last three seasons I have spent the Fourth [of 
July] within the walls of a theatre. How I shall pass the 
coming Fourth I know not. Probably, however, hard at 
work. I have much to do before the company sails and 
before I leave. One day to me is much like another. It 
is either a little more work or a little less. The glitter, 
the glamour, the feting, and petting that I have read 
about, and which I imagined once upon a time to be part 
and parcel of an actor's life, have never found me out. 
I am a quiet, steady, plodding old war-horse, and I carry 
my knight, in times of peace and in battle, and Sir Labour 
is waxing stouter every day. Good-by, if I do not see 
you before my departure. When I come back I trust 
you will receive me none the less kindly for the fact that 
I swam home." 

But he was to leave earlier than he anticipated. His 
rest was cut short, his work trebled, and his sweetest hopes 
threatened with dire disaster by the announcement that 
Bandmann had engaged the Opera Comique in London, 
and would act 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" there, on 
August 6 one month before Mansfield! 

Mansfield had faith in himself, but he believed that 
"faith without works is dead." He girded for the fight! 
Hundreds of dollars were spent in spirited cables, the 
date of his opening was advanced to August 4 (two days 
before Bandmann), though the fact was not announced. 
His company was scattered to the mountains and sea- 
shore for their vacations, but he hurriedly gathered them 
together, and they quietly slipped away for England, on 
the steamer City of Rome, early in July! 



CHAPTER THIRTEEN 

(1888-1889) 

In London Rivals Begins season at the Lyceum with " Dr. Jekyll 
and Mr. Hyde" Beatrice Cameron produces "Lesbia" He 
acts Chevrial and Prince Karl Attendance poor Plans to 
retrieve Leases the Globe A benefit at Derby School De- 
cides to act the Duke of Gloster In retirement at Bournemouth 

ON his arrival in London, Mansfield established him- 
self at Long's Hotel in Bond Street, and visiting royalty 
rarely surrounded themselves with more luxury. America 
had recognised him first, and, coming to England as an 
American, he assumed the obligation of sustaining Amer- 
ican dignity. 

The difference between the two countries in extending 
welcomes was brought home to him with unforgetable di- 
rectness. There was a total absence of the exuberant jour- 
nalistic hysteria which in those years seized a visiting actor 
at American quarantine and trumpeted him into a suc- 
cess of curiosity days before his debut. Mansfield found 
London perfectly calm. His old friends called and there 
were renewals of former friendships, cementing of new 
ones, many merry parties and quiet pilgrimages to spots 
hallowed by youthful memories. The truth is, however, 
that his prevailing sentiment was one of anxiety not alone 
about the impression he hoped to make, but lest Band- 
mann succeed in getting his "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" 
before the public first and remove the cream of novelty 

158 



i888] 



STELLAR DEBUT IN LONDON 



'59 



from his presentation. He harassed himself, too, with an 
alleged belief that Bandmann might walk off with the 
honours in spite of the fact that New York had repudiated 
the imitator and laughed with derision when it should 
have been hushed with awe. It was ever his disposition 
to magnify obstacles, however inconsequential, and fancy 
them where they did not exist at all. 

The first Jekyll-Hyde in the field appeared, however, 
from a completely unexpected quarter. On Thursday, July 
26, an actor-manager of several minor theatres and of some 
provincial repute, named Howard Poole, produced a 
dramatic version of the Stevenson story at the Theatre 
Royal, Croydon, about ten miles out of London. He at- 
tracted no attention and made no impression. He was 
immediately enjoined, and Stevenson and his publishers, 
the Messrs. Longmans, repudiated all versions of 'Dr. 
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" other than Mansfield's, as un- 
authorised. 

Henry Irving concluded his performances at the Ly- 
ceum Theatre on July 7. Sarah Bernhardt followed him 
at once on July 9 in Sardou's newly produced "La Tosca" 
and others of her great roles. She held the stage until 
Mansfield assumed his tenancy of the theatre with the 
initial performance of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," on 
Saturday evening, August 4.* 



1 The cast of the play on this occasion was: 
Dr. Jekyll ) 
Mr. Hydej 
Dr. Lanyon 
Gabriel Utterson 
Genl. Sir Danvers Carew 
Poole 

Inspector Newcomer 
Jarvis 

Mrs. Lanyon . 
Rebecca Moore 
Agnes Carew . 

2 Helen Glidden. 



Mr. Richard Mansfield. 

Mr. D. H. Harkins. 

Mr. John T. Sullivan. 

Mr. Holland. 

Mr. J. C. Burrows. 

Mr. W. H. Crompton. 

Mr. F. Vivian. 

Mrs. D. H. Harkins. 2 

Miss Emma Sheridan. 

Miss Beatrice Cameron. 



160 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1888 

The London critics at once confessed that on the plane 
of what is weird, sombre, saturnine, and mystical there 
had been nothing in the experience of living theatre-goers 
comparable to Mansfield's performance, excepting Henry 
Irving's Mathias in "The Bells." Mansfield's triumph was 
complete after Bandmann's effort the following Monday, 
August 6, of which Clement Scott wrote in The Theatre: 
'The version is bad. . . . Only in the first and last 
acts is there any dramatic interest. . . . The adapter 
has made Dr. Jekyll in love with Sybil Howell the daugh- 
ter of a clergyman who is murdered by Hyde in presence 
of the audience. The principal incidents of the story are 
closely followed, but in doing so there are introduced 
comic scenes, such as are witnessed only at pantomime 
timeo . . . Mr. Bandmann's Dr. Jekyll is a canting, 
sanctimonious humbug of Pecksniffian appearance; his 
Mr. Hyde a malevolent dwarf-like creature with large 
teeth, that was ridiculous from its monkey-like tricks 
which only prolonged laughter and derision where they 
should have inspired terror." 

The piece was withdrawn by Bandmann after the second 
performance! 

The most distinguished people in London acknowledged 
the spell of Mansfield's performance, and among them 
came United States Minister Phelps, who wrote him: 'I 
am proud of you, of the American company and of the 
perfect taste of the whole production. It was an eminent 
success." The public, however, remained away with 
heart-breaking persistency. Vogue, based even on the 
highest, soundest, and most vigorous achievements, is not 
attained in a night in London. The English are slow to 
yield either their interest or their affections; but once 
they bestow either, they are constant as the stars. 



i888] ENGLISH APPRECIATION 161 

There appeared to be a turn in the tide later and he 
wrote to his friend, E. A. Dithmar. 

I suppose you think I am unkind, unmindful, and un- 
grateful not to have written to you once I have been over 
here or perhaps you will understand how hard worked 
I have been and how tired when I reached home and was 
unable to sit still and write to my friends. It has been a 
hard fight, with much against us, but I think we have 
conquered. At all events, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" 
is in for a long run and will not be taken off during my 
tenancy of the Lyceum Theatre. The audiences are 
very enthusiastic, much more so than in America, and it 
does seem as if the profession here had a desire to acclaim 
me. Terriss has been twice and wrote me a note saying: 
"I thank you for the most artistic treat since Irving's 
'Louis XI.' Everybody writes and speaks in the same 
vein. Frith, the painter, who is an old man and has seen 
everybody, told me (I hope he meant it) I reminded him 
much of Macready and that my voice was finer. ... I 
have just received a card from the Hon. Louis Wingfield 
notifying me that at a special meeting of the Garrick Club 
I was elected an honorary member. Toole, Beerbohm 
Tree, and Wingfield were my sponsors. ... I need 
hardly tell you that the expenses here are enormous, and 
I would warn any American actor to think twice before 
he tackles the British lion every hair of his tail costs 
gold, and we are safely through it, thank God! I have 
ventured, perhaps, where angels would have feared to 
tread, and succeeded; but had I known exactly well, I 
might have been frightened away. 

Miss Cameron's talents as an artist and her charm as a 
woman had made a deep impression on Mansfield from 
the first. With a desire to enlarge her reputation and 
with a hope of strengthening the evening bill, he advanced 
her as Lesbia, in a one-act classical comedy of that name. 



1 62 RICHARD MANSFIELD 

by Richard Davey, a London playwright and journalist 
of some pretension and culture. 'Lesbia" was made 
the curtain-raiser from September 17, 1888, when it was 
first produced on the Lyceum stage. 1 

The little play had no inherent vitality, and the mild 
interest with which it was received was due entirely to the 

J 

charm and talent of Miss Cameron and her associates. 

Meantime "A Parisian Romance" was in preparation, 
and afterward he told an incident of these rehearsals which 
illustrated significantly the amateur's idea of the stage. 
There came to him a beautiful and gifted young gentle- 
woman, Lady Emily , who wished to go on the 

stage. He thought he saw in her an ornament who would 
add to the patrician verisimilitude of his ensembles. Lady 
Emily was given the part of a fluttering young society 
woman, and she had little to do but to be at ease and 
she had less to say. As rehearsals progressed it became 
evident that on the stage she was neither graceful nor 
natural. Mansfield took her in hand and tried in vain 
to have her sit, stand, and walk properly. Finally, in 
despair, he appealed to her: "My dear Lady Emily, why 
do you sit in that position ? Would you assume such a 
pose in your own drawing-room ?' : With her attention 
attracted to herself, she confessed she would not. 'Then 
why do you do it on the stage?" he asked. With naive 
candour, she replied: 'I presume because I am acting." 
He spent a deal of valuable time teaching people how 
ot to act. 

In spite of his optimistic letter to Dithmar, "Dr. 

1 With this cast: 

Lesbia . . Miss Beatrice Cameron. 



Catullus 
Sibilla 
Affra 
Claudia 



Mr. John T. Sullivan. 
Mrs. Sol Smith. 
Miss Johnstone Bennett. 
Miss Maude White. 



A BENEFIT 163 

Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" limped no further along than the 
end of September, and "A Parisian Romance" received 
its first London presentation at any hands on October i. 
The denotement of Mansfield's powers, as displayed in 
the Baron Chevrial, were freely acknowledged. The 
characterisation was written of glowingly as "a minute 
and Denner-like piece of work" . . . and of possessing 
"what the poet calls 'the mind breathing in the face." 
But sweet phrases, however much they may have moved 
the actor, did not move the public. Peering out nightly 
at the empty benches, Mansfield saw a crisis approach- 
ing. Unwilling at any time to expose in the English capi- 
tal so vaporous a trifle as "Monsieur" for he had no 
vanity about certain of his own accomplishments he 
played his last card on Friday evening, October 10. The 
run of "A Parisian Romance" was interrupted for one 
night, and 'Prince Karl" received its first London per- 
formance, preceded by Horace Wigan's one-act comedy, 
"Always Intended." 

The occasion was made the benefit for a Whitechapel 
charity, and his patrons included: the Princess Christian 
of Schleswig-Holstein, the Duchess of Teck (Princess 
Mary), the Duke and Duchess of Westminster, the United 
States Minister, and Mrs. Phelps, Sir Richard Taylor, Sir 
Philip CunlifFe Owen, Sir Morell Mackenzie, Henry 
Labouchere, M.P., Joseph Hatton, Edmund Yates, and 
?. score of other prominent persons. 

A cable to the New York Times gives an interesting and 
exact account of the evening: 

A benefit for the poor of the East End of London does 
not possess much interest for the swells of the West End, 
and the front of the house was not on the whole so brilliant 
a night as on Mansfield's first appearance here. But the 



1 64 RICHARD MANSFIELD [ 

pit and galleries were jammed with people who howled 
and stamped after every act till Mansfield came forward. 
They gave him a double recall after the last act. In the 
first place, the humour of the piece, which is American, 
appealed mainly to people of the orchestra seats, who 
had travelled on the Continent. It then caught the pit 
and the galleries with but little delay. In London, what 
with working men's holiday clubs and cheap excursions to 
the Continent, it is hard to find an industrious and intel- 
ligent English working man who does not know some- 
thing about a trip on the Rhine, where the scene of the 
play is laid. So Mansfield's amusing conception of the 
duties of a courier, and the roles of the other members of 
the company as helpless American tourists in the merci- 
less hands of Continental hotel-keepers, took much better 
here than it did in New York. Then the puns, which 
in New York are considered as veritable chestnuts kept 
the Londoners, in the stalls, to whom they were new, 
in convulsions of laughter. No one was more sur- 
prised at their instantaneous success than Mansfield 
himself. 

Miss Beatrice Cameron, as the rich widow, looked 
prettier, dressed better, and acted more effectively than 
she has since she has been here. She received almost an 
enthusiastic ovation. As to Mansfield and the rest of the 
company, they were as good as usual in the piece and 
much more at home in their parts than in the two previous 
plays. 

"Prince Karl" was merely put on one night as a 
feeler. There is scarcely any doubt that Mansfield will 
continue it during the remainder of his engagement at the 
Lyceum. 

With some of the critics here he will get no praise, 
whatever he does. But if the expression of opinion, 
of the best of their number to him personally, and 
among themselves in the foyer to-night, is .any criterion, 
then it may be taken for granted that Mansfield will 
soon draw as big houses at the Lyceum as did Mary 
Anderson. 



i888] THE LONDON MISTAKE 165 

"Prince Karl" became the evening bill on the Monday 
evening following, in spite of the somewhat severe blow 
to his pride that his former more serious efforts as an 
artist should be less popularly received than a light comedy 
which he held far below the standard of his ambition. 

The attendance was now larger, but not yet profitable. 
The performances were still given at a loss. This, added 
to the huge indebtedness which had piled up during the 
preceding twelve weeks, presented an obligation and an 
outlook to distress the stoutest heart. It was really all 
along a struggle from hand to mouth. Every shilling went 
to his company, and a weekly promissory note for $3,000, 
bearing interest, was handed Mr. Irving for the rental of 
the Lyceum. One week, Mansfield's manager, Mr. E. 
D. Price, came to him with the news of a crowning catas- 
trophe. Two hundred pounds, their share of the week's 
receipts, had been stolen from the safe in the ofHce of 
the theatre. Too late he realised what he overlooked in 
his spontaneous eagerness to do great things when Irving 
offered him time at the Lyceum that he had allowed 
himself to be booked in London at the wrong time of the 
year; that financial success there is a growth and not a 
shower; and, finally, that, on the same boards with the 
most popular actor England had doted on for generations, 
and a man in the full flower of his important achievements, 
and, preceded by the greatest living actress at the zenith 
of her power and fame, he had challenged criticism with 
three mediocre, unpretentious plays, displaying two char- 
acters essentially repugnant to the sympathies, and a 
third which defined only the superficial elegancies of his 
art. 

Impoverished and exhausted, his material depleted, and 
nothing ahead, apparently, but to close his season and, 



1 66 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1888 

as he had prophesied, "swim home," his mettle was chal- 
lenged. He was ever a man for an emergency, never 
more undaunted than in seeming defeat. He now mani- 
fested his courageous spirit and his indomitable pluck. He 
would not leave London defeated. The hoped for success 
of Chevrial, Karl, and Hyde, even at the best, could not 
have been comparable to the triumph he now determined 
to wring from the intolerable situation. It is not drawing 
the long bow to say that London was profoundly aston- 
ished the morning it read Richard Mansfield's announce- 
ment that he had leased the Globe Theatre and would, 
before he left the British capital, act the Duke of Gloster 
in Shakespeare's tragedy of 'King Richard III." He 
would measure himself at the shoulder of the greatest 
English actors. 

He had never seen this play performed, but its incom- 
parable invitation to the artist of powers and resources 
had long been beckoning him. For financial substance 
he turned to his old friend, Eben D. Jordan, and his 
staunch admirer responded handsomely. 

He was not able to secure the Globe immediately on 
the termination of his lease of the Lyceum, December i. 
One week he devoted to seven appearances at the Alex- 
andra Theatre, Liverpool, and on his way back to London 
indulged himself in an enterprise which had been near 
to his heart ever since he arrived in England. One of 
the first to rush to greet him on his arrival was his dear 
old master, the Rev. Walter Clark, from whom he learned 
that the Derby boys were struggling with a subscription 
for a new racquet court. Mansfield at once promised to 
come and play in Derby and devote the entire receipts to 
the boys' subscription. This he accomplished, on his 
way back from Liverpool to London, Monday, December 



i888] ACTS IN DERBY 167 

10, 1888, at the Grand Theatre, where he gave not only 
one performance, but two! 'Prince Karl" in the after- 
noon and " Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" in the evening. He 
afterward spoke of this as one of the proudest occasions 
of his life. 

A Derby paper of the next day said: "At the close of 
the evening performance Mr. Mansfield had quite an 
ovation, being again and again recalled, and, a speech 
being insisted on, he in a few well-chosen words expressed 
the pleasure he felt in being in Derby once more, and the 
pride he had always felt and should continue to feel in his 
old school. He felt especial gratification at the enthusi- 
astic reception he had received at their hands. The 
audience included, of course, scores of Derby-School boys, 
and some of them found a vent for their enthusiasm by 
taking the horses from Mr. Mansfield's carriage and 
dragging him in triumph up to the school." Once there 
he did not fail to look up the platform of his boyish his- 
trionic experiments. 

Returning to London he opened his tenancy of the 
Globe Theatre, "entirely refurnished during a possession 
extending over thirty-six hours," Saturday evening, De- 
cember 22. The play was "Prince Karl," with the identical 
cast of its first presentation at the Lyceum, save for 
Madame Carlotta Leclerq as Mrs. Daphne Lowell and 
Weeden Grossmith as Howard Algernon Briggs. It was 
preceded in the bill here by" Editha's Burglar," with Lionel 
Brough. The music at the Globe now became a feature. 
It was directed by Edward German. 

The attendance during the holidays was encouraging, 
and Mansfield applied himself with all the resources of 
body and mind to the preparation of " King Richard III." 
Ill luck, however, had another rap for him, and it fell the 



i68 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1889 

second week in January when his throat, which had been 
affected by the climate from the moment winter set in, 
gave him painful concern. Sir Morell Mackenzie attended 
him, declared he was suffering from congestion of the 
larynx, and must stop acting at once or he might suffer 
permanent injury. 

It was an emergency for quick action. Mansfield was 
equal to it. He called his company together, advised 
them of Sir Morell's diagnosis, but said he would act until 
Saturday. Meantime he arranged for revivals of the old 
comedies, leading with Goldsmith's "She Stoops to Con- 
quer," in which he cast his own company, with the addi- 
tion of Lionel Brough for Tony Lumpkin and beautiful 
Kate Vaughan for Kate Hardcastle. 

Once out of harness he redoubled his energy in pre- 
paring his new role and his Shakesperian production. 
He felt the need of single-mindedness, for the responsi- 
bility of every detail fell on his shoulders. He gathered 
about him experts on every aspect of the tragedy. Sey- 
mour Lucas, A.R.A., F.S.A., designed the costumes and 
armour; Egerton Castle, F.S.A., and J. G. Waller, F.S.A., 
advised on "military archaeology," and Mr. Castle and 
Walter Pollack assisted in mounting the fighting scenes; 
William Telbin, Bruce Smith, and E. G. Banks designed 
and painted the scenery; and Edward German composed 
an overture, entr'actes, and incidental music. Such 
cohorts made it obvious that he was tremendously in 
earnest. 

Of these preparations he wrote later in Harper s Weekly: 

'The man I remembered best of all in the studios was 

Seymour Lucas, for cause that he had one day offered to 

pledge his only table ornament, a silver cup, to relieve my 

necessities; and I would have done the same by him, 



i88 9 ] AT BOURNEMOUTH 169 

even to my evening boots built of fine patent leather, with 
silk bows very near the toes to make the feet look small. 
It was, then, to Seymour Lucas I applied for direction in 
the matter of a historical production of ' King Richard 
III.' . . . The supers were being drilled in the art of 
ancient warfare by Captain Egerton Castle. . . . Ger- 
man travelled down to me [he was in Bournemouth] to 
talk about the music, and I hired a piano, and with locked 
doors we strumped and hummed and whistled and sang 
until that portion of the idea had taken form." 

The article in Harper s Weekly (May 24, 1890), re- 
ferred to, opens with a reference to his retirement to the 
country, whither he had gone to study, and the first para- 
graphs are repeated here for the sake of the ingratiating 
sketch of English rural life and the denotement of the 
writer's native geniality: 

'Fagged out by a season of hard work, I had gone to 
Bournemouth to regain my health and strength, and to 
find vigour to commence a new attack upon the bulwarks 
of popular favour. I took with me the half-formulated 
plans and ideas of a regenerated 'Richard III.' . . . My 
chief and only pleasure was found in the companionship 
of an old Welsh mare; barring a corn on the off forefoot, 
a sound and noble specimen of the good old English cob. 

' Rain or shine I mounted this tawny-coloured steed 
and trotted toward Christchurch. After all, there is no 
road like an English road, and no lane like an English 
lane; and if at the end of it there be a ruined abbey, a 
quaint old hostelry, and the downs stretching across the 
sea line as far as a keen eye can reach, there may be hope 
for enjoyment. 

'I never ask my way or inquire regarding sights 
sight-seeing itself is my abomination so I came upon 



1 70 RICHARD MANSFIELD [iss 9 

Christchurch one fine morning in a haphazard sort of 
manner and rode into the old cobble street and passed 
the ivy-grown abbey without a suspicion as to where I 
might be. It was fine that was all. I liked it; it was a 
place for the painter. I saw an inn, and, as is usual, by 
its side a stable, and I was back again with Mr. Pickwick 
and Sam Weller in a moment. My crop was on my hip 
as I rode through the gate and gave the call for the 'ostler; 
and when he came limping out, he was the same old 
'ostler, lame from a kick, with the same red hair, and the 
same knowing eye, and the same touch of his forelock, 
and the same old, very old, striped waistcoat. If any- 
body else had come forward looking in any way different, 
I should have awoke and fallen off my cob; it wasn't in 
the nature of things to expect any one else, and nobody 
else came. We had never met, but the man knew me 
and I knew him. 'Oats!' I said; and he touched his 
greasy cricket cap, threw the reins over his arm, and as I 
moved up the steps to the side entrance to the house, the 
broad hindquarters of the mare disappeared behind the 
stable door not, however, without one hind foot slipping 
a little on a stone. 

'I knew where the coffee-room was, and I knew I'd 
find a good fire. I knew that if I pulled a rope by the 
mantel-shelf I should hear the sound of a bell clanging 
through the house. I knew that a more or less good- 
looking girl would answer the summons. Here my first 
doubt set in she might be good-looking and she might 
not. I did not desire to have my senses in any way 
shocked by the sight of an ill-looking person. I was in 
too soothed and comfortable a frame of mind. She 
came; I knew it, although I was hanging over the fire 
with one spurred boot on the fender. I waited a little 



iss 9 ] AN ENGLISH IDYL 171 

while in order to nerve myself for the shock; then I turned. 
I was very grateful. She was well-favoured. We, too, 
had encountered each other before. It required no in- 
troduction. I had chucked her under the chin in every 
part of England, and she expected it just as much as she 
expected the shilling, and I expected her to say, 'Lor', sir!' 
Some bread and cheese and a pint of ale old ale; there 
is some old ale here, I know it, as mild as milk and as 
powerful as Hennessy. 

"It rained, it pattered on the window pane, and the 
room became darker and the fire more cheerful. I lolled in 
the shiny brown chair, threw my head far back, and there 
was shortly a fragrance of tobacco smoke. I knew there 
was a very old man in the house who had lived there for 
generations, and in due time he entered. He was part 
of it all, so was the rain, and the mare in the stable crunch- 
ing her corn, and the 'ostler 'sh-shing' as he rubbed down 
a horse by the door, and the yellow-white Scotch whiskey, 
too, in the short, round tumbler, with a foot to it, by the 
host's elbow. He droned about crops and visitors and 
the curate (he knew I knew them all). 'Salmon was 
coming in fine.' ' I'd better stay and have a slice crimped.' 
I shook myself, went out and looked at the weather, got 
on to my cob and rode home thinking; but I was away 
back all the time in the forties and how perfectly con- 
tented! I rode out that way every day, and never sought 
for anything different; it satisfied me, sometimes with a 
wild gallop on the downs or a jump or two over a low 
hedge. . . . 

''In the meantime I was making up my mind more and 
more every day, either on the downs or in the coffee-room 
at Christchurch, as to what sort of a man Richard o' 
Gloster was; and now no one can make me think he was 



172 RICHARD MANSFIELD [rss 9 

otherwise than as I am when I wear his coat and cap. 
You may not like him, but he is a ' being,' which is more 
than the ranting, raving, sulking monstrosity you have 
been accustomed to was." 

For two months, so far as the public knew anything of 
Mansfield, he was in complete retirement. They were 
for him, however, months of strenuous labour, zealous 
study and dire apprehension. The night he appeared 
first as Chevrial he was unknown, there was no expecta- 
tion. He had much to gain, but he had neither invest- 
ment nor reputation to lose. Now he faced an epoch- 
making crisis in his career. His increasing celebrity had 
stimulated expectation; to realise an ambition he had 
plunged into an indebtedness of upward of sixty thousand 
dollars; and he was challenging fame in one of the most 
exacting of Shakespeare's characters, a role hedged about 
with hard and fast tradition, and indissolubly bound up 
in the history of every great British actor, including Irving, 
who was the only living exponent of Richard on the Eng- 
lish stage. 



CHAPTER FOURTEEN 



(1889) 

Produces "King Richard III" Conquering a riotous pit Smashing 
traditions His note on King Richard Making friends A 
letter from Robert Buchanan A visit from his old master 
Returns to America. 

MANSFIELD first acted the Duke of Gloster in Shake- 
speare's tragedy, " King Richard III," on Saturday even- 
ing, March 16, 1889, at the Globe Theatre, London. 1 

The first performance was very nearly ruined by the 
occupants of the pit. The brutalities of the professional 
wreckers in these cheap seats is traditional in London. 
From the earliest days of the theatre they have dictated 
to the managers, created babels which made it impos- 
sible to hear plays, and driven actors from the stage. 



1 The cast was: 

King Henry VI 
Prince of Wales 
Duke of York . 
Duke of Gloster, afterward K ng 

Richard III 
Duke of Buckingham 
Duke of Norfolk 
Earl of Richmond . 
Lord Stanley . 
Sir Richard Ratcliffe 
Earl of Oxford 
Lord Mayor of London 
Sir James Blount 
Sir William Catesby 
Earl of Surrey . 
Sir Robert Brokenbury 
Berkeley . 
Lord Hastings . 
Captain of the Guard 
Tressel . 
Sir James Tyrrel 

173 



Mr. Allan Beaumont. 
Miss Bessie Hatton. 
Miss Isa Bowman. 

Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Mr. James Fernandez. 
Mr. W. R. Staveley. 
Mr. Luigi Lablache. 
Mr. D. H. Harkins. 
Mr. Reginald Stockton. 
Mr. J. Burrows. 
Mr. Joseph Frankau. 
Mr. Leonard Calvert. 
Mr. Norman Forbes. 
Mr. J. Parry. 
Mr. Merwyn Dallas. 
Mr. J. G. Slee. 
Mr. W. H. Crompton. 
Mr. H. Wyatt. 
Mr. Arthur Gilmore. 
Mr. C. Stewart. 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 



[1889 



There were occasions when Garrick himself could not 
withstand the pit. 

During the weeks immediately preceding Mansfield's 
appearance as Gloster the pitites had been particularly 
active. A few evenings before they had broken up a first 
night's performance at Mrs. John Wood's Theatre, keep- 
ing up such a turmoil that the entire play was presented 
practically in dumb show. 

A friend brought Mansfield word that there would be a 
hostile demonstration against his Richard, and on the 
advice of a Londoner high in authority a dozen police 
officers in plain clothes were to be sprinkled through the 
pit. If any one made an outbreak, disapproval was to be 
expressed, and if he did not subside he was to be taken 
out and locked up. 

The crowd at the pit entrance to the Globe before the 
doors opened on the first night was so great that the 
peace-officers could not get near it, and the mistake was 
made of allowing them to enter by a private doorway. 
The struggle for precedence in getting in was so frenzied 



Sir Thomas Vaughan 
Sir Walter Herbert . 
Sir William Brandon 
Earl of Pembroke 
Marquis of Dorset 
Lord Lovell 
Bishop of Ely . 
Garter King at Arms 
Wyndham 
Court Jester 
Standard Bearer 
Queen Elisabeth 



Lady Attendants to the Queen 



Duchess of Yorke . 
Lady Attendant to the Duchess 
Margaret Plantagenet 
Edward Plantagenet 
Lady Anne .... 
Priests, Monks, Acolytes, Men-at-arms, Citizens, Merchants, Pages, Archers. 
Aldermen, Children, &c., &c. 



Mr. Edgar Norton. 

Mr. F. Smiles. 

Mr. Sydney Price. 

Mr. H. Druce. 

Mr. M. Buist. 

Mr. L. Dubarri. 

Mr. A. Sims. 

Mr. F. Tipping. 

Mr. F. Vivian. 

Mr. F. W. Knight. 

Mr. F. Broughton. 

Miss Mary Rorke. 
( Miss Burton, 
< Miss Langton, and 
( Miss Olliffe. 

Miss Carlotta Leclarcq. 

Mrs. Whittier Chandos. 

Miss E. Orford. 

Miss N. Bowman. 

Miss Beatrice Cameron. 




RICHARD MANSFIELD IN "KING RICHARD III" 



i88 9 ] A RIOTOUS PIT 175 

that the first dozen were bruised and battered and nearly 
stripped of their clothing. When they saw that others 
had been admitted before them, they passed the word to 
those following and set up a demonstration which soon 
took on the proportions of a riot. 

Mansfield's own narrative in Harper's Weekly covers 
this angry prologue: 

The excitement of a first night is actual suffering; the 
nervousness actual torture. Yet as I walk down the 
Strand on my way to the theatre that night and note 
the impassive, imperturbable faces of the passers-by, I must 
confess to myself that I would not change places with 
them no, not for worlds. I have something that is filling 
my life brimful of interest, every nerve is dancing, every 
muscle quivering. It's like a battle. I shall win or die. 

I'm in my dressing-room at last, and at last it's the 
first night of tragedy. My first night of tragedy! I 
begin to realise it all at once. It comes upon me with the 
most stunning force. I do not believe I have thought of 
it before. I'm afraid my servant, my devoted John 
Metzger, will see my hands trembling as I draw the lines 
under my eyes. I have donned my first dress. I am 
ready. Lucas has been to see me. He says I look like 
the pictures of Richard. That is well. 

There is an uproar in the house. Hark! they are 
shrieking and yelling. John is in a ferment of terror, and 
says, in his broken accent, that "they vas wrecking the 
house." I wonder what it is all about. Presently the 
news comes. First one and then the other pale-faced 
emissary. Somebody has blundered. Men have been 
allowed to take places in the pit before the doors were 
regularly and properly opened. 

Augustus Harris comes panting and very red, 'You 
must go out and speak to them." Lucas, Castle, and 
Walter Pollock stand friendly and anxious at the door. 
I have become calm. I have drawn up another chair. 



176 RICHARD MANSFIELD [iss 9 

I am resting my legs upon it. "Augustus," I said to 
Harris, "you are very popular. Go, speak to them for 
me." He went, but did not speak, and the uproar be- 
came greater and greater, and still I sat quietly in my 
room. Somehow all this did not seem to concern me. 
It was not in any way part or parcel of my production of 
' King Richard III." It was there all ready for them, 
I reflected, and if they did not wish to see it, all well and 
good. I was sure I should not raise the curtain or my 
voice until they were silent and attentive. I think my 
stage manager harangued them to little purpose, and the 
curtain rose on the first scene. 

I do not know how it came about. I think the demons 
felt somehow 7 or other that it was beautiful. / always 
say it awed them into silence. At all events they were 
very still. They could not hiss their own dear old Tower 
of London, standing there so grim and majestic in the 
twilight the bells tolling, and the guards slowly patrolling 
the court before the warden's gate. Elisabeth, attended 
by her train, had passed across the drawbridge. The 
moment had come. 

I opened the little door in the tower and stepped out. 
I was quite calm. A great storm of applause swept over 
me, and I looked at the house. The storm came rushing 
at me again and again, and still again. It seemed as if it 
would never tire, and I wished so that it would, for it was 
beating me down surer than cudgels and hard words 
could have done; and I felt the fatal lump rising in my 
throat, and the quiver of my underlip. (I have never 
been able to overcome certain traits of my childhood. I 
am as easily moved to laughter and to tears, to anger and 
to sympathy, as I was then, and beyond a certain amount 
of added knowledge, I feel just as I did then. I run, 
jump, eat, sleep, and comport myself in most ways as I 
did when I was a boy.) . . . 

He had indeed conquered the malcontents. And at 
the end of each succeeding scene the pit joined in the 



i88 9 ] "KING RICHARD 111' 177 

recalls with increasing enthusiasm. At the end of the 
play the demand that he address them came from every 
part of the house, and his words of modesty and sincerity 
were listened to with respect. Reverting to his own 
account: "The ship had been well and safely launched- 
Would she float?" 

Mansfield repeatedly declared that he could not act a 
standard role to the psychology of which he was not able 
to bring some fresh point of view. For the trivialities 
merely of new "business" in reviving a character he had 
little interest. It was scarcely surprising, therefore, that 
his version and his performance of " King Richard III" 
set tradition aside in almost every particular. 

As he arranged the tragedy, it opened in a courtyard of 
the Tower of London, with a prologue which was made 
up from those passages in "King Henry VI" where the 
orders come from the Duke of Gloster for the King's 
closer confinement. 

The first act was divided into two scenes. The earlier 
was devoted to a superb historic pageant of Queen Eliza- 
beth and her train entering the Tower, and concluded 
with Gloster's first appearance and his soliloquy, "Now 
is the winter of our discontent," which he gave intact as 
far as the line, "And hate the idle pleasures of these days." 
To this he added from Act III, scene 2, of the third part 
of " King Henry VI " : 

Then, since this earth affords no joy to me 
But to command, to check, to o'erbear such 
As are of better person than myself, 
I'll make my heaven to dream upon the crown; 
And whiles I live to account this world but hell, 
Until my misshaped trunk that bears this head 
Be round impaled with a glorious crown 



i 7 8 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1889 

And from Act III, scene I, the second part of 'King 
Henry VI": 

My brain, more busy than the labouring spider, 
Weaves tedious snares to trap mine enemies, 
For Edward being dead, as he shall be, 
And Henry put apart the next for me! 

The second scene disclosed King Henry's apartment in 
the Tower, and here was acted his murder by Gloster, 
from Act V, scene 6, the third part of " King Henry VI." 

Acts II and III were Shakespeare's very own save for 
necessary condensation, and for the transfer of the wooing 
of Lady Anne from "a street in London" to a beautiful 
spot on the road to Chertsey. Acts IV and V were largely 
the Colley Gibber arrangement of Shakespeare's text. 

Mansfield's version was published, and he prefaced it 
with this "Nota," which set forth the new view he took of 
the character: 

NOTA 

William Shakespeare, in writing the tragedy of King 
Richard III, was either himself desirous of pleasing the 
Tudor Court (Queen Elizabeth being the granddaughter 
of Henry of Richmond), or he drew his history from such 
corrupt authorities as Hall, Hollinshed, and the work 
attributed to Sir Thomas More, but much more likely 
from the pen of that notable enemy to Richard Bishop 
Morton. 

Moreover, the great poet, in arranging the principal 
events of Gloster's life for dramatic treatment, has so 
distorted, confused and glomerated deeds and events that 
it is most difficult to restore their sequence in the play or 
to follow history while we follow Shakespeare. Yet we 
surely may, while painting the life of Richard upon the 



iss 9 ] MANSFIELD ON HIS GLOSTER 179 

stage, endeavour in some measure to make him appear 
as he really was, permitting his character to form with the 
march of events and his age to be somewhat measured by 
the date of his acts. In dealing with his personal appear- 
ance the actor has to regard the lines of the text: 

I that am rudely stamp'd . . . 

Cheated of feature by dissembling nature, 
Deformed, unfinished sent before my time 
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up, 
And that so lamely and unfashionable . 

But it would seem as if the suggestion of this would be 
all-sufficient, the more so as it is well known that the 
slightly deformed are highly sensitive and constantly and 
grossly exaggerate their own defects. Such may have 
been the case with Richard, for Rous alone of all the his- 
torians (and he a prejudiced one at that) says that his 
shoulders were uneven and his features small- "curtam 
habens faciem" . . . and Rous even contradicts him- 
self in describing the deformity. On the other hand we 
have many pictures, notably the one at Windsor Castle, 
that in the possession of the Society of Antiquaries the 
painting at Eton (for a fac-simile of which the author is 
indebted to the Provost of Eton), and the portrait in the 
Bethnal Green Museum. All of these have been copied 
for present use, and in all the general characteristics are 
the same the face mournful, almost to pathos, suggestive 
of wonderful facility of expression and firmness. We also 
have John Stow's l authorities that Richard "was of 
bodily shape comely enough," and the word of the 
Countess of Desmond who danced with him in King Ed- 
ward's Court and declared him "the handsomest man in 
the room, his brother, the King, excepted." The actor 
has preferred therefore to touch as lightly as is possible, 
in view of the text, upon the deformity of Richard's body. 

John Stow, the antiquary, born about 1525. 



i So RICHARD MANSFIELD [,88 9 

The deformity of his razW, as drawn by Shakespeare, has 
to be adhered to, although history fails to corroborate it. 
Richard did not slay Edward, the son of Henry VI, he did 
not kill King Henry, he did not murder his Queen, the 
Lady Anne, and there are grave doubts as to his having 
been implicated in the deaths of Edward V and his brother, 
absolutely no evidence existing that Henry VII did not 
find both Princes alive upon his accession. Regarding 
Lady Anne, his affection for her was sincere. Legge 
says: "She had inspired the dreams of Richard's boyhood, 
had been the solace of his hours of care and danger." In 
any case the actor may perhaps be allowed to suppose 
that inclination and interest went hand in hand, or that, 
at all events, Richard would be too clever a dissimulator 
to jeopardise the result of his wooing by senseless buffoon- 
ery, and that, supposing such a scene possible, it would 
take great apparent sincerity to win even so frail and 
gentle a creature as the Lady Anne by the body of her 
dead husband's father and the memory of that dead hus- 
band green in her heart. 

When Richard fought at the battle of Tewkesbury and 
then, according to popular tradition, hastened to London 
to dispatch Henry, he was only nineteen years of age. 
The actor has taken the liberty of seizing upon this fact 
to contrast Richard in his earlier and more careless days 
(his strength, his vast ambition, his imperial mind and 
reckless courage all fresh in him) with the haggard, con- 
science-stricken and careworn tyrant Shakespeare paints 
him fourteen years later. 

Shortly after the battle of Tewkesbury, Edward and 
Richard came to London, Elizabeth Woodville, the wife 
of Edward, taking up her residence in the Tower, while 
Edward marched on toward Canterbury to crush Falcon- 
bridge. It is after the entrance of Elizabeth and her 
train, that we first see Richard, who, if he stayed behind 
to slay Henry VI (in ward in prison in the Tower of Lon- 
don) must have lost no time in the execution of that deed, 
for Henry VI died on a Tuesday night, the 2 1st of May, 
between eleven and twelve of the clock, and we hear of 



i88 9 ] SHAKESPEARE RESET 181 

Gloster, on the 22d, as being on his way to Canterbury 
with his brother. Warkworth's Chronicle has it that on 
the morrow " the dead King was chested and brought to 
Paul's," from thence he was taken to Chertsey and again 
to Blackfriars, or, according to more correct authorities, 
to Whitejriars. The actor has imagined it likely that 
the body was conveyed on a bright May morning, by 
the budding hedges of the Twickenham road, the blos- 
soms of early spring all a-bloom and the roofs of Lon- 
don town, the high walls of Westminster Palace and 
the frowning towers of the fortress seen dimly through 
the summer haze. It is here by the wayside that 
Richard has chosen to await the coming of Lady 
Anne. Reference is made to this scene on account of 
its having been the custom to place it in a street in 
London. 

The last act of the tragedy has also been much changed, 
notably Richard's evil dream and the fight of Bosworth 
field, in which latter the actor has hoped to produce 
greater realistic effect by following the tale of history. 
The fight is taken up after Lord Stanley's defection, after 
John Howard, first Duke of Norfolk, Richard's truest 
friend, has been slain by a bow drawn by an unseen hand, 
after the Earl of Surrey had been overpowered and taken 
prisoner, when Richard, weak with wounds and dis- 
mounted, knows that all is lost and that vanquished by 
treachery he must die or yield. 'He continued his 
ferocity," says Mr. Hutton, "till his powers and his friends 
failing for every one of his followers was either fallen or 
fled he stood single in the centre of his enemies he fell 
fighting an army." 

The actor in modelling his conception of the character 
of King Richard III has borne in mind the words of Mr. 
Legge: 'The first thought suggested by a comprehensive 
survey of Richard's life is the remarkable illustration it 
affords of the triumph of pure intellect over the most 
formidable obstacles. If we credit the stories of his phys- 
ical deformity, the triumph of mind is proportionately 
enhanced." And he has also remembered Napoleon's 



182 RICHARD MANSFIELD [l8 8 9 

advice to Talma: 'That the greatest kings do speak like 
ordinary mortals." 

In arranging the book and in curtailing what would be 
an impossibly long play, he has somewhat followed the 
scenario of that very clever dramatiser, Colley Gibber; 
but he has endeavoured throughout to restore the language 
of Shakespeare, and only where it has been absolutely 
imperative to join events by the aid of foreign material, 
has he made very slight use of Gibber 

The actor acknowledges with sincere gratitude the in- 
valuable advice and cooperation of Mr. Seymour Lucas, 
Mr. Blomfield, Mr. Walter Herries Pollock, Captain 
Egerton Castle, Mr. Waller and Mr. Weekes. For the 
admirable music he is indebted to Mr. Edward German, 
as he is most surely to all those who, upon the first occa- 
sion of representation, worked with so much zeal and 
generosity to crown with success a somewhat considerable 
and hazardous undertaking. 

RICHARD MANSFIELD. 

Macklin's Shylock was scarcely more revolutionary 
than Mansfield's Gloster. His predecessors in the role 
of Richard indicated no lapse of years in the Prince, no 
growth in crime, no interval to allow the development of 
the reactionary effect of evil deeds on one who at first 
was only a man of evil thoughts and will. What they 
were at the end that were they at the beginning, and the 
experiences between had only the value of incident. 
Mansfield gave his characterisation moral and dramatic 
value by denoting the progress and effect of crime. 

He wiped out three centuries of tradition with his first 
entrance. Here was no halting, grizzled, lowering tyrant. 
There bounded forth instead, a sleek, sinuous young 
Prince of nineteen, beau enough to cover somewhat his 
deformities, a creature of blithe villainy, "conquest writ in 
every curl of his laughing lip or flash of his wonderful eyes." 



i88 9 ] AVENGING CONSCIENCE 183 

There was in the killing of King Henry the sinister 
humour of one who could easily say: 

'Why, I can smile, and murder while I smile." 

He was a mad-cap of such cheerful irony that Lady 
Anne found him more irresistible than impossible, and, 
when the funeral cortege passed on to Whitefriars, his 
infatuation with his own mad deviltry pitched the speech 
beginning: 'Was ever woman in this humour woo'd?" 
in light tones of boastful raillery which his sharp tongue 
clipped off at a merry pace. From there on crime worked 
its swift corrosion, but it was only when time had laid 
some years upon him, as indicated in the Richard of the 
throne-room scenes of Act III, that he disclosed con- 
sciousness of the spiritual conflict. 

It was ever in scenes displaying the force of avenging 
conscience that Mansfield's imagination triumphed over 
his material and over the spectator most completely. The 
cry with which Richard started from his dream-haunted 
couch: "Give me another horse! Bind up my wounds!" 
was for him no climax. He carried the scene on, spilling 
the words in a torrent of agonised emotion, sustaining the 
delirium of fears to which the sudden approach of Catesby 
in the darkness added a crowning terror, and releasing 
the spell only when Richard realised that no haunting 
spectre stood before him, and fell on his friend's neck 
with a soul-delivering sigh. On the field of battle he was 
defiant and terrible to the end. When his sword was 
gone he fought on, with his outstretched hands as if alone 
and unarmed he could command victory with his terrific 
will. 

The appeals made to the senses by the pictures and 
the music, and to scholarship by every aspect of the his- 
torical elaboration were not preceded or followed on the 



1 84 RICHARD MANSFIELD [iss 9 

English stage by anything more detailed, accurate, com- 
plete or beautiful. His strikingly imagined and forcefully 
portrayed King Richard III at once established him as 
one of the high intellectual and artistic forces with which 
the stage would have to reckon, an actor no longer of 
promise, but achievement. He was thereafter compared 
only with the first artists. 

Among his papers were preserved letters attesting his 
triumph from the leading personages of London. Many 
of these were or became his devoted friends. Among 
them were the Baroness Burdett-Coutts, William Frith, 
R.A., the Duke of Bedford, Henry Labouchere, Lillian 
Nordica, Henry Irving, Beerbohm Tree, the Duchess of 
Teck, David Anderson, of the Times, G. H. Boughton, 
the painter, Oscar Wilde, Justin McCarthy, Lady Freake, 
Clement Scott, Ellen Terry, Mr. and Mrs. Kendal and 
Alfred Gilbert, the sculptor. 

A letter he especially prized came from Robert Bu- 
chanan, the poet and playwright: 

LONDON, March 26. 

MY DEAR SIR: Outside praise is of little value to one 
who works from his own point of insight, but knowing 
from experience that a friendly wish may be pleasant, I 
venture to tell you how much I was impressed by your 
Richard III. Your Shakespearian work seems to be 
about as fine as it could be. I do not understand those 
critics who, while praising it, say it is not Richard: to me 
it seems an absolute realisation of that demoniac creature. 
You have one unusual gift in addition to your subtler 
ones that of music in the voice, which makes a poor 
devil of a poet hunger to have his lines delivered by such 
an organ. I went prepared to see an excellent piece of 
acting; I found a masterpiece of characterisation. And 
what a delight it is to find an actor at last who is thoroughly 




RICHARD MAXSHKLD IX "KING RICHARD III" 

From a i>hutcij;:-a]ili. copyright, iSo;. liy J. M. Hart c- Co. 



iss 9 ] GARRICK'S BUCKLES 185 

alive, who is perfectly fearless in his intellectual agility, 
and never falters one moment in his execution of a daring 
conception. I just write you these few words of con- 
gratulation. Later I may have an opportunity of writing 
to the public also. 

Yours truly, 

ROBERT BUCHANAN. 

Among the pleasant compliments paid him was that of 
the Dowager Lady Freake. In May she gave a dinner 
in his honour at her country house in Twickenham. On 
this occasion she presented him with a splendid pair of 
shoe buckles which had belonged to David Garrick and 
later to Edmund Kean. Lady Harrington gave them to 
Lady Freake. She loaned them to E. A. Sothern to 
use in his first performance of 'David Garrick" but 
determined, she said, to allow them to pass from her 
ownership only to the actor who would please her best 
in a Shakespearian part. The card accompanying the 
buckles said: 'From Lady Freake to Richard Mans- 
field for his fine performance of 'King Richard III." 
Later the widow of Lester Wallack presented Mansfield 
with a pair of buckles which Charles Kean had given her 
husband. 

Another pleasant feature of this engagement was 
devised by Edward German and the members of the 
orchestra who, on Mansfield's birthday, presented him 
with an escutcheon set in a wreath of laurel leaves and 
surmounted with a bust of Shakespeare, the whole done 
in silver. The inscription read: 'To Richard Mans- 
field, Esquire, from the Members of the Orchestra, at 
the Globe Theatre, London, May 24, 1889." 

On his own part, he did not forget old friends, and in 
the midst of his labours and success he arranged, among 



i86 RICHARD MANSFIELD 1889 

other courtesies, to have his old master, Rev. Walter 
Clark and his sister, Miss Clark, come up to London as 
his guests. Mr. Clark's acknowledgment is interesting: 

MY DEAR MANSFIELD: 

Accept our very sincere thanks for your kind and gen- 
erous hospitality while we were in London. We enjoyed 
our visit immensely. I was never so impressed in my 
life as I was by your acting. . . . You have achieved 
marvellous success. No one, I can assure you is prouder 
of the honours you have gained than my sister and my- 
self. ... I am quite sure that the annals of the English 
or any other stage cannot show at any period so rapid a rise 
to fame as your own. Now on which Sunday may we 
hope to have the pleasure of seeing you ? . . . You 
shall have a most hearty welcome. I am quite sure that 
the change, short one tho' it be, will do you some good. 
Your kindness in bringing your company to Derby we 
can never adequately repay I can merely say that we 
shall always remember it with gratitude. . . . 

Most faithfully yours, 

WALTER CLARK. 

He acted "King Richard III' uninterruptedly until 
June i, when his season concluded with the termination 
of his lease of the Globe Theatre. London connoisseurs 
had given him the highest praise, but the public did not 
come in paying numbers. Not a week passed without 
adding to the financial load which he was bearing. The 
Globe was not a large theatre. The receipts, if all the 
seats had been sold and they never were would have 
been nearly a hundred pounds less each week than the 
actual current expenses of the theatre and of the numerous 
forces employed in "King Richard III." 

After a few visits to old friends and new, he sailed 
toward the end of June on the Adriatic, and he never 



i88 9 ] A DEBTRIDDEN OPTIMIST 187 

acted in England again. He was bringing back a debt 
of over one hundred thousand dollars, but his venture 
had won him an asset, for the doors were slowly opening 
to a position among the first living dramatic artists. 



CHAPTER FIFTEEN 

(1889-1890) 

Acts "King Richard III" in America Public not ready for his 
Gloster "Master and Man" Miss Cameron in "A Doll's 
House" A reputation for eccentricity His apology for the 
conscientious artist. 

HE hoped now to abandon "Prince Karl" and "Mon- 
sieur," and not again descend from the plane to which 
he had raised himself. "I give up such plays," he wrote, 
"just as I gave up the entertainment business to become 
an actor. I believe I have grown out of dramatic knicker- 
bockers into trousers, so to speak." He made a brave 
effort to advance, but there was struggle enough ahead, 
and he needed all the courage and hope in which he was 
so strong. It was reasonable for him to expect that the 
artistic success of his "King Richard III" in London 
might be converted into something more substantial in 
America. It has repeatedly been the experience of other 
artists. 

He began his season of 1889-1890 at the Globe Theatre, 
Boston, on Wednesday evening October 21, and planned 
to tour in no other role than Gloster for at least a year. 
Then he played for three weeks at the Broad Street 
Theatre, Philadelphia. Writing to Dithmar of the bad 
business in the latter city, he said: "I am thinking of 
inserting an advertisement here as follows: 'Mr. Richard 
Mansfield is sorry to disturb the inhabitants of Philadel- 

188 



is 9 o] A DARK OUTLOOK 189 

phia, but he begs to announce that he appears every 
evening as King Richard III." The balance of the tour 
included his first appearance November 25, as a star at the 
National Theatre, Washington and the following week at 
the Academy of Music, Baltimore. Thence to New York 
City, where, at Palmer's (previously and later Wallack's) 
Theatre, he acted "King Richard III" first December 16. 

It soon became pitifully plain that the public were not 
ready to accept his authority. Elocution, declamation, 
rant and fustian were expected by the public in Shakes- 
peare and especially in Richard. "Give us more hump," 
read one complaining letter. The imaginative and dis- 
criminating, the few who had their eyes raised, saw and 
proclaimed the quality of the characterisation, but Mans- 
field could not impose his originality on the masses. Too 
few possessed the kernel of Hans Sachs's philosophy: 
'When you find that you have been trying to measure 
by your own rules that which does not lie within the 
compass of your rules, the thing to do is to forget your 
rules and try and discover the rules of that which you 
wish to measure!" 

He acted " King Richard III" in New York City barely 
four weeks. On the last night, January 18, 1890, he 
concluded his speech of thanks to the only crowded house 
of the engagement with the frank admission that lack of 
patronage had terminated the run of the tragedy, but 
with solicitation of future patronage and the promise that 
'What I take from the public with one hand I will give 
with the other." 

Not in all his life before had the future presented itself 
with less hope than now. His distress during the early 
days in London was a private concern. When he dis- 
banded his company six years before he was compara- 



i 9 o RICHARD MANSFIELD [189 

lively unknown, and though penniless, was at least out 
of debt. Now, however, he was an international figure 
of some consequence. His increasing indebtedness had 
carried his credit with Mr. Jordan to a point beyond which 
he did not dare and did not think it fair to push it. His 
misplaced confidence in the success of an American tour 
in "King Richard III" had been so. complete that he 
had not provided himself with other material. The 
issue of the first half of the season left no doubt that he 
must not hope at this time to attract the public in paying 
numbers to Shakespeare's tragedy. To disband his com- 
pany, send his production to the auction room, seek for 
himself any engagement that would bring him a living 
until he could summon fresh energies that was what he 
foresaw when T. Henry French brought him the manu- 
script of "Master and Man." 

This was a melodrama by Messrs. Sims & Pettit. It 
was frankly of the "thriller" type, but had achieved a 
respectable popularity at the Princess's Theatre, London, 
during a long run. Letters from friends in England 
assured him that in the role of Humpy Logan he would 
find expression for his powers, if not on their highest 
plane, at least forcibly and effectively, and that the com- 
bination of his secure and polished art and the popular 
qualities of the play would induce a success that would 
crowd the theatre and enable him to throw off some of 
his indebtedness. Made desperate by circumstances, 
and consoling his pride with the fact that actors of the 
first rank had in all periods made distinguished success 
in melodrama, he ignored his^'own taste and preference 
and listened to the voice of expediency. 

He could not afford to close the theatre while rehearsing, 
so he made "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" the bill during 



1890] 



HUMPY LOGAN 



191 



the week of January 20, and 'Prince Karl" the week 
following. On Monday evening, February 5, 1890, he 
and his company acted "Master and Man" for the first 
time at Palmer's Theatre. 1 

Logan was "the Man," Carlton was "the Master." 
The former was deformed bodily and morally, and rep- 
resented a conventional type of theatrical villain. Mans- 
field found little support for his art either in the character 
or the story as written. He imbued the part with some 
interest, however, during the fervent avowal of the hideous 
Logan's love in the first act and he swept the play to a 
momentary success in a later scene of unbridled terror 
when the wretch was threatened with death in the fur- 
naces of his own firing. But the play made no genuine 
appeal below the second balcony. Mansfield acted it for 
less than two unprofitable weeks and it later found its 
own audience for some years of life when played by 
another actor in the cheap theatres. 

To add to his discomfiture at this time a conspiracy 
was formed among the supers who had been appearing in 



1 The cast was : 

Jack Walton . 
Robert Carlton 
Humpy Logan . 
Tom Honeywood 
Jim Burleigh . 
Crispin St. Jones 
Levano 
Jim . 

Ned Barton 
John Willett 
Joe Robins 
Old Ben . 
Landlord . 
Postman . 
Hester Thornbury 
Little Johnnie . 
Kesiah Honeywood 

Katey and Janey 
Letty Lightfoot 



Mr. J. H. Gilmour. 
Mr. E. B. Norman. 
Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Mr. Russell Bassett. 
Mr. L. Eddinger. 
Mr. W. J. Ferguson. 
Mr. Hubert Druce. 
Mr. Frank Smiles. 
Mr. Franklyn Roberts. 
Mr. D. H. Harkins. 
Mr. M. Buist. 
. Mr. A. Butler. 
Mr. Edgar Norton. 
Mr. F. Daley. 
Miss Isabelle Evesson. 
Master Wallie Eddinger. 
Miss Katherine Rogers. 
Misses Nelly and 
Emmie Bowman. 
Miss Beatrice Cameron. 



192 RICHARD MANSFIELD [ l89 o 

'King Richard III." They alleged that they had been 
engaged until the first of the June following. A test suit 
was instituted by the malcontents and welcomed by Mans- 
field. When the facts were presented the judge imme- 
diately threw the case out of court, but had Mansfield lost 
it would have been the signal for the combined armies of 
Richard and Richmond to storm the royal exchequer. 
But to what end ? It was empty. 

Undaunted by the lack of popular interest in his 
Richard or by the issue of "Master and Man," Mansfield 
held his company together and secured the capital to 
proceed to Chicago. He resumed his interrupted season 
there at the Columbia Theatre with "King Richard III." 
It was received with unalloyed enthusiasm. Then as 
always Mansfield found in that great-hearted city the 
support and inspiration which sustained him in many a 
crisis. The second week of his stay was devoted to 
"A Parisian Romance," the third to "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. 
Hyde." These three plays with an occasional evening 
of 'Monsieur," now renamed 'The Frenchman," were 
the only ones in which he appeared during the tour. 

From Chicago he went to the Olympic Theatre, St. 
Louis, and while there news reached him of the cyclone 
which had devastated the city of Louisville. Thus early 
in the new tour did misfortune overtake him for he was 
booked to play in the Kentucky city the week begin- 
ning March 31. He tried to get a theatre in St. Louis in 
order to devote the week to a series of performances for 
the benefit of the sufferers, but failing in this project, he 
took his company to Louisville and secured a rearrange- 
ment of his booking by which he played at Macauley's 
Theatre the week of April 7. He and his associates spent 
the idle week doing what they could for the stricken 



1889] "A DOLL'S HOUSE' 1 193 

people and the newspapers spoke appreciatively of their 
efforts. 

His only other appearances during this tour were at 
the Euclid Avenue Opera House, Cleveland; the Lyceum 
Theatre, Rochester, New York; and in Boston for a 
fortnight at the Boston Theatre. He had rehearsed the 

o 

tragedy of " Kean" and announced it for his second week 
in Boston, but he did not play it then or afterward. On 
Monday, May 5, he reached the Madison Square Theatre 
and played "A Parisian Romance" for two weeks. 

A significant and felicitous incident of Mansfield's sea- 
son of 1889-1890 was the opportunity he gave Miss 
Cameron to act Henrik Ibsen's Nora in "A Doll's House." 
The Norwegian was at that time in the maturity of his 
accomplishment, but his popularity and influence were 
as yet unfelt in the English-speaking theatre. Miss 
Cameron seized each of the plays as the translations 
appeared and her appreciation at once transformed her 
into an admirer of the Norse dramatist. In putting 
Nora on the stage she did a pioneer work. "A Doll's 
House" had not been seen before in the cities where Miss 
Cameron acted it. The audiences were somewhat du- 
bious in their understanding of the character and the 
play, but they saw an illuminative performance of Nora. 
Miss Cameron brought to it a rare intellectual grasp and 
force; charming every one by the sweetness and impetu- 
osity with which she portrayed the volatile and varying 
emotions of the girl-wife. Mansfield wrote a friend: 
"Miss Cameron's success was something extraordinary, 
and she has suddenly blossomed into something very 
close akin to greatness." "A Doll's House" was played 
first in Boston on Wednesday afternoon, October 30 and 
in New York December 21. Other cities to see matinees 



194 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 



[1890 



of the Ibsen play were Philadelphia, Washington, Balti- 
more, Chicago and St. Louis. 1 

So little did the public know of the drama that in 
Philadelphia, where it was played to the largest audience 
of the series, the majority of those present were children 
accompanied by their nurses and the sidewalk outside 
the theatre was lined with perambulators. 

For several years Mansfield by virtue of being himself, 
had been building up a reputation for eccentricity. His 
curtain speeches especially were regarded as abnormal. 
The fact is he never appreciated the compliment in the 
call for a speech. To him it savoured of a bargainer who 
wanted yet more for his money. In any event, he felt 
it was divested of distinction because at the time every 

j 

farceur who pleased, was expected to add five or ten 
minutes of monologue before the curtain to his entertain- 
ment. As a rule, he conformed with success to what he 
regarded as humbuggery, but his practical sense and his 
sense of humour did at times run away with him. Then 
he abandoned the conventional mockery of deep emotion, 
and under a transparent veil of irony, took liberties 
with himself and the audience. There was no malice 
in what he said and his auditors, in general, found 
his satire refreshing. But the smug and literal-minded 
made a great pretence of being offended and endowed 



1 The cast of these first performances of "A Doll's House" included these 
names: 

Thorvald Helmer Mr. Atkins Lawrence. 



Nils Krogstad . 

Dr. Rank 

Porter 

Mrs. Linden 

Ellen 

Mary Ann 

Little Bob 

Emmie 

Nora 



Mr. Mervyn Dallas. 

Mr. Hubert Druce. 

Mr. F. King. 

Miss Helen Glidden. 

Miss Russell. 

Miss Muire. 

Miss Nellie Bowman. 

Miss Emma Bowman. 

Miss Beatrice Cameroa. 



is 9 u] ECCENTRICITIES 195 

him with a reputation he was many years in living 
down. 

He never succeeded in smashing the magnifying glass 
which was held over the caprices of his temper. The 
most extravagant exaggerations were published and 
believed to the end. The impression prevailed in some 
quarters that he indulged himself in this and other 
so-called eccentricities, but his answer to the whole mis- 
apprehension is found in these paragraphs in the North 
American Review: 

Do not be led away by men who tell you to be original 
in other words, to be odd, eccentric, and to attract at- 
tention to yourself by these means. Do not strive to be 
original, strive to be true! If you succeed in being true 
you will be original. If you go forth to seek originality 
you will never find truth. If you go to seek truth, you 
may discover originality. Do not be dazzled by the suc- 
cess of chicanery or charlatanism you will not find it 
satisfying, for, however much you may impress others, 
you will never believe in yourself unless you are insane. 
The mediocre actor generally enjoys popularity; he 
offends no one, he arouses no jealousies and mediocrity 
is easy of comprehension. The merchant will tell you 
that the rarest products are unsalable. 

The actor who plays to the groundlings, who has a good 
word for every one, who has never racked his nerves or 
tortured his soul, who has not earned his bread and salt 
with Kummer und Noth, who has not realised the 
utter impossibility of ever accomplishing his ideal, who is 
not striving and searching for the better in art, who is con- 
tent to amass wealth by playing one part only; the actor, 
in short, who is not unsatisfied, is a poor fool of an actor. 

It is impossible for an actor to attempt an arduous role, 
and having done his full duty to be unruffled and calm and 
benign as a May morning. 

The very centre of his soul has been shaken, he has 



196 RICHARD MANSFIELD [iS 9 o 

projected himself by force of his will into another being, 
into another sphere he has been living, acting, thinking 
another man's life, and you cannot expect to find him 
calm and smiling and tolerant of small troubles, dumped 
back on a dung heap after a flight to the moon. 

If when the curtain has fallen, you meet this clever, 
calculating and diplomatic personage, know that you are 
not in the presence of an actor. He is no doubt a thousand 
times more pleasant to encounter, more charming in 
society, gratissimus to the fatigued, harassed, often humili- 
ated and misunderstood newspaper hack but he is not an 
actor. 

The actor is sui generis, and in the theatre not to be 
judged by the ordinary rules applied to ordinary men. 
The actor is an extraordinary man who every evening 
spends three hours or more in fairyland, and transforms 
himself into all kinds of odd creatures for the benefit of 
his fellow-men; when he returns from fairyland, where he 
has been a king or a beggar, a criminal doomed to death, 
a lover in despair, or a haunted man, do you fancy the 
aspects of the world and its peoples is not tinged with 
some clinging colour of his living dream ? 

He could not abide a dullard or a sloth. Aaron Hill's 
stanzas were often on his lips: 

Tender-handed stroke a nettle, 

And it stings you for your pains; 
Grasp it like a man of mettle, 

And it soft as silk remains. 

'Tis the same with common natures: 

Use them kindly, they rebel; 
But be rough as nutmeg-graters, 

And the rogues obey you well. 

When no response came to his repeated efforts to 
show how a thing should be done, he gave up with a 



i8 9 oi LONG ASSOCIATIONS 197 

despair which did not always consider the sensibilities 
of others. On the other hand, sincerity, coupled 
with whatever degree of ability, received his gentle 
consideration. 

He had remarkable intuition in his judgments of 
character. Those who did not stimulate his admira- 
tion he was quick to sweep out of his way, or if the 
exigency of circumstances required their temporary re- 
tention he had not the guile to dissemble. He had no 
patience with incompetency and indifference. Any one 
who exhibited native ability and those fibrous quali- 
ties of a cogent character, whether in high or humble 
offices, might depend on him during a tenure of their own 
limitation. 

Up to this time he had maintained the personnel of 
his company with only minor modifications since he 
began to make productions. The names of Miss Cam- 
eron, Mr. and Mrs. Harkins (Helen Glidden), Miss Sit- 
greaves, Miss Bennett, Mr. Sullivan, and others were con- 
spicuous in nearly all his casts. Albert G. Andrews this 
winter (1889-90) took his place among the leading artists 
of the company and for seventeen years contributed an 
important characterisation to every play that Mansfield 
produced. Though the son of an American actor and 
an American by birth, Andrews had developed on the 
English stage. His delightful performance of Peter to 
the Nurse of Mrs. Stirling, in the Irving-Terry produc- 
tion of "Romeo and Juliet" at the Lyceum, London, 
brought him an invitation to join the Palais Royale 
in Paris. This was a distinction whose glamour some- 
what faded, however, when it was disclosed that his 
salary would be less each month than he was receiving 
each week in London. This season, also, Mme. Simon 



198 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1890 

joined Mansfield's forces in the inconspicuous but respon- 
sible position of wardrobe mistress and she remained 
with him as long as he acted. 

Mansfield reached New York with a depleted treasury 
and worn with the rigours of an uninterrupted series of 
struggles, disappointments, discouragements, and losses. 
But he did not despair. He was soon buoyed with hope 
for another experiment, a new play and a new character 
of which he had long been dreaming and which was to 
prove in every sense, epochal in his career. It was to 
give him more hearty acclaim than he had yet known as 
an original, forceful artist of the first rank, and it advanced 
him leagues in the climb to the heights from which he 
never took his eyes. 



CHAPTER SIXTEEN 

(1890-1891) 

Searching for unhackneyed characters Produces "Beau Brummell" 
A run of one hundred and fifty performances Tour Sus- 
ceptibility to kindness A snuff-box from the Kendals A note 
from Ellen Terry Auctions his treasures An invitation per- 
formance in Washington A concert of Mansfield composi- 
tions. 

i 

IT was not Mansfield's policy to place himself in juxta- 
position to the career of others. Generations of actors 
had shown their quality by taking up a standard set of 
traditional characters and inviting comparison with other 
actors, dead or living, at whose elbow they coveted a 
position. It was assumed that for a player of distinguished 
merit there was always waiting a ready-made repertoire. 
But it was true of Mansfield from the first, as it was noted 
later that he epitomised himself when, as Brutus, he spoke 
these lines of Caesar: 

He never will follow anything 
That other men begin. 

He chose not to stand in any reflected light or invite 
any reflected shadow. His career was to be his very own. 
Of the twenty-eight roles which he interpreted in the 

199 



200 RICHARD MANSFIELD [r8 9 o 

course of his public life as his own manager, Mansfield 
acted only six plays with which his contemporaries could 
be said to be in any sense familiar, and of these only to 
King Richard, Shylock, Brutus, King Harry, and Don 
Carlos were there attached any traditions. 

He was untiring in his search for new characters which 
would exploit new phases of his art and coincidental!}- 
inform or divert his public. Sometimes he found such a 
personage in the unfamiliar but vital treasures of other 
languages, sometimes in the current fiction, but his 
preference was to lift out of the pages of history a figure 
which had dominated its environment and embody it a 
living, breathing, palpitating reality in the traditional 
scenes of the man's career. This was one of the many 
respects in which he became recognised as "one of the 
most stalwart educators and intellectual forces in the 
theatre." 

At this time his mind was haunted with a troop of such 
figures. One appealed to him out of the poetry of Byron 
and the music of Mozart and he was himself writing the 
play which was to project the hero. Another he sug- 
gested to Mr. Sullivan who had supplied him with an 
earlier vehicle. While in London he had presented a 
new point of view on an American classic to his friend 
Joseph Hatton, and invited a play on the subject. To 
Miss Sheridan, formerly of his company, he gave a com- 
mission for the dramatisation of a standard character in 
English fiction in whose whimsical hero he hoped for a 
contrast with the others of his projected gallery. These 
all found their way to the stage and with what result will 
appear presently. 

The character which now concerned him most, how- 
ever, was that of George Brummell, the celebrated English 



i8 9 o] 'BEAU BRUMMELL" 201 

Beau of the Regency, for this was to be his immediate 
experiment. It was brought to his attention as service- 
able for an acting role by William Winter. Together 
they discussed the project and went over the available 
material. 

Mansfield's consideration of Brummell was so thorough 
that before a play was begun he had resolved in his own 
mind how he would embody the character. Blanchard 
jerrold's two-act comedy on this same subject was ex- 
amined, but wholly rejected. He had, moreover, decided 
that, as the value of the subject lay in contrasts, the 
earlier denotement of the ascendancy and fashionable 
reign of the Beau, with a suggestion throughout of his 
heedless extravagance, must be followed by scenes in- 
dicating the imminence of the social and financial catas- 
trophe which did actually overwhelm him, with a final 
display of his pathetic physical and mental decrepitude 
in the poverty of his French exile. With these inevitable 
points in view, and the obvious necessity of a story on 
which to hang the traditional incidents of Mr. Brummeirs 
life as narrated in the biography by Captain Jesse and 
other characteristic incidents to be invented, he now 
sought for some one of fertile imagination and graceful 
wit, founded in firm, technical skill, to write the play. In 
addition to the printed material which was at any one's 
disposal, he placed his own suggestions in the hands of an 
ambitious but then unknown young writer, Clyde Fitch, 
whose only relation to the stage at the time was a one-act 
play on the subject of and entitled "Frederick Lemaitre." 
The choice was not more complimentary to the obscure 
author than the result was flattering to Mansfield's in- 
tuitions of men. The play was named "Beau Brum- 
mell," after the central figure, and was first acted at the 



202 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1890 

Madison Square Theatre, on Tuesday evening, May 17, 



The play was a light, delicate fabric, but served ad- 
mirably the purpose for which it was devised. It provided 
an harmonious background for the Beau, and a slender 
but sympathetic story through which he moved with 
opportunities for the display of all the salient characteris- 
tics Mansfield desired to express. 

It opened in Mr. Brummell's apartments and presently 
revealed the Beau himself in all the elegance of golden 
negligee. His dainty affectations were displayed at his 
dressing-table as he completed his toilet. An eyelash 
awry was -carefully removed. He raised his hands above 
his head and waved them gently, that the blood might 
run back and leave them white. When his valet brought 
the letters, he knew each delicate missive, without open- 
ing, by the perfume. There were bills a-plenty, but these 
were to be put where he "would not see them" and he 
would "think they were paid." A hundred pounds lost 
at gaming, however, was excepted- 'That, Mortimer, 
that is a debt of honour and must be paid." An insistent 
money-lender was overwhelmed by the following delicate 



1 The cast was: 

The Prince of Wales 

Lord Manly 

Richard Brinsley Sheridan 

Mr. Brummell . 

Reginald Courtney, his nephew 

Mortimer, his valet . 

Abrahams 

Bailiffs .... 

The Prince's footman 

Oliver Vincent, a city merchant 

Mariana Vincent, his daughter 

Kathleen, her maid . 

The Duchess of Leamington . 

Lady Farthingale 

A French Lodging-House Keeper 

Mrs. St. Aubyn 



Mr. D. H. Harkins. 
Mr. John C. Buckstone. 
Mr. A. G. Andrews. 
Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Mr. F. W. Lander. 
Mr. W. J. Ferguson. 
Mr. W. H. Crompton. 
Mr. Turner and Mr. Norton. 
Mr. Thomas F. Graham. 
Mr. Everham. 
Miss Agnes Miller. 
Miss Johnstone Bennett. 
Mrs. Julia Brutone. 
Miss Beverley Sitgreaves. 
Miss Leigh. 
Miss Adela Measor. 




RICHARD MANSFIELD IX "BEAU BRUMMELL 



i8 9 o] THUNDERBOLTS AND THE BEAU 203 

impudence to the Prince of Wales's footman who conveyed 
an invitation for dinner: 

Brummell: At what o'clock did you say, Bendon ? 
Footman: At four o'clock, sir. 

Brummell: Say to his Royal Highness to make it half- 
past four. 

His young nephew rushed into the chamber with a 
breezy impetuosity quite out of harmony with the deli- 
cately tuned nature of the Beau, who could not bore him- 
self even to remember the simplest facts: 

Brummell: Reginald, my boy, you come in like a a . 
Mortimer ? 

The Valet: Yes, Mr. Brummell? 

Brummell: What does Mr. Reginald come in like? 

The Valet: Ahem! Like a thunderbolt, sir. 

Brummell: Yes, like a thunderbolt. Mortimer? 

The Valet: Yes, Mr. Brummell? 

Brummell: Have I ever seen a thunderbolt? 

The Valet: Once, sir. 

Brummell: Yes, Reginald, I once saw a thunderbolt. 
Very disagreeable things, thunderbolts. I wish you 
wouldn't come in like a thunderbolt. 

But nothing could convey the delicious imperturbability 
of the Beau, the helpless superciliousness of his wan frown, 
his quivering eyelids, his purring, soft voice. Delicate 
as eider-down were the matter of other lines in this first 
scene and his manner of delivery. 

As Reginald extended his hand and the Beau turned 
languidly to examine it through his quizzing glass: "Dear 
me, what is that? Your hand to be sure. Men shake 
hands much too often; a glance of the eye, Reginald, a 
glance of the eye." 



204 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1890 

When Reginald reported that he had been "busy," the 
exquisite shrunk as from a chilling blast. ' Busy ? Never 
employ that term with me. No gentleman is ever busy. 
Only insects and City people are busy." 

Finally, his affection returning with his equilibrium, he 
invited his nephew into the inner chamber "to see him 
having his coat put on," and, when that delicate operation 
was perfected and his toilet surveyed carefully for the last 
time, he bestowed his most gracious favour: 'Now, 
Reginald, I'll make your fortune. I will walk down the 
Mall with you to White's, and you may be seen talking to 
me for a few moments at the club window. Could any 
one possibly do more?' : 

Through this airy scene it was developed that the Beau 
had bestowed his affection on Miss Mariana Vincent, 
daughter of a City merchant of means. Though marriage 
would repair his fortunes, his love was not wholly mer- 
cenary. "I should not like," he confided to his valet, 
"to make a loan for life and give myself as security." 
Unbeknown to him, his nephew's heart was given in the 
same quarter, and ignorant though good-natured Mr. 
Vincent's eagerness to marry his daughter to the great Mr. 
Brummell, in hopes of social advancement, completed the 
simple complications of the story. 

To give an adequate idea of what Mansfield accom- 
plished with the character is impossible. He gave in- 
numerable expressions of the Beau's conscious elegance 
as he moved through the earlier scenes of the Prince's 
call, the confusion of Mr. Vincent for his tailor, and the 
dance at Carleton House where he graciously defended 
the ignorant merchant from the wrath of the Prince, 
even to the extent of ironically resenting the royal bad 
manners by leaving with the alleged historic thrust: 'I 



CUTTING THE PRINCE 205 

shall have to order my carriage. Wales, will you ring 
the bell?" 

That marked his downfall. The next scene in the Mall 
indicated the denouement. The bailiffs were hounding 
him, and he instructs his valet to hold them off. ' Promise 
them all they ask with added interest. (Going and turn- 
ing.) Promise them anything. (Going and turning.) 
Promise them everything. (Going and turning again.) 
Mortimer, you must not go unrewarded. Promise your- 
self something." 

When the Prince passed and cut him, neither his wit 
nor his imperturbability abandoned him. He surveyed the 
retreating figure, not yet out of ear shot, and sealed his 
social doom with a jest: "Sherry, who's your fat friend ?" 
(As Sheridan whispers: "The Prince Regent.") "I had 
no idea he looked like that. Is it really ? You don't 
say so? Dear, dear, what a pity!" 

Overhearing Mariana and Reginald exchange their 
avowals he advanced and magnanimously withdrew his 
suit. As the young couple ignored him in the confusion 
of their own happiness, the Beau unrequited in love, a 
financial wreck, discredited at Court wrung every heart 
as he lifted his chin and set his face bravely in the other 
direction, Nemesis pursuing him in the figures of the 
loutish, greasy bailiffs. 

The play indeed ended there. But graceful as it was, 
it was not the play of itself which had interested up to 
this point; it was the characterisation, and the imagina- 
tion held the interest in leash for the final scenes at Brum- 
mell's lodgings in the French seaport. The magnificence 
of the Beau had fallen away, but not his manners. He 
was still the exquisite though tattered and torn, penniless 
and starving. The last picture was a literal transcription 



2o6 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1890 

from Brummell's life. His mind, weakened under ad- 
versity, imagined again, in spite of every evidence of his 
poverty, the gay companies in which he had reigned as 
king. In the dim light of his single candle he greeted 
phantom princes and duchesses and seated them at a 
phantom banquet. A graceful touch was given at the last 
moment by the arrival of the Regent now King and his 
suite, which included all Mr. Brummell's old friends. 
Mortimer, who had faithfully shared his master's exile 
and penury, seated them silently in the places where the 
shattered mind imagined them. Rousing himself from 
his stupor, the astonishment of the Beau to see the real- 
ities about him was too much for his enfeebled mind. 
The King graciously invited him to dine once more. 
Brummell, punctilious to the last, made sure the hour 
was not less fashionable than eight o'clock, and instructed 
Mortimer in quivering, failing tones to tell callers that 
" he has a pressing engagement with His Majesty." But 
it was manifest he kept his engagement with the King of 
another world than that which knew him as the peerless 
Beau. 

Mansfield's creation of the Beau, the wit of the 
comedy, the elegance of the environment, and the fidelity 
of the sentiment to the scenes represented, carried the 
enterprise to unqualified success. His performance added 
an original, unique, and irresistibly charming figure to the 
stage. His denotement of Brummell's fastidiousness in 
dress, his warm heart beneath the artificial exterior, 
his studied and formal courtesy, and the grace, ease, 
and reality he gave every aspect of the Beau, was 
at once the most delicate and perfect art. So harmo- 
niously did the temperaments of the character and the 
actor fuse that it was obvious then and always that 




RICHARD MANSFIELD IX "BEAU BRUMMELL" 



,890] AMENITIES 207 

only the genius of Mansfield could breathe the puppet 
into life. 

In later roles he reached greater heights and sounded 
deeper notes of tragedy, but for grace, charm, polish, 
and all the qualities which touch the heart while they 
satisfy the mind, no other role of his eclipsed the 
Beau. 

After one hundred and fifty performances of ' Beau 
Brummell," he left the Madison Square Theatre, October 
25, and repeated this play on a tour which embraced 
only the large cities north of the Ohio and east of the 
Mississippi rivers, and ended May 4, 1891. There- 
after it was the corner-stone of his repertoire as long as 
he acted. 

Mansfield was almost pathetically susceptible to a kind- 
ness, no matter how trifling, as was witnessed by his 
unswerving fidelity to Mine-host Frank Brobst, who 
came to him one day, while he was in Cleveland, 
at the Hollenden Hotel, with a dish of rosy Jonathans, 
and this simple assurance of sincerity: 'Mr. Mans- 
field, I was in the steward's cellar just now while he 
was opening a barrel of apples. They looked so 
inviting, I thought you would enjoy having a few on 
your table." Never afterward would Mansfield stop 
at another's hotel in a city where Brobst had a 
house. 

Another courtesy which touched him deeply at this 
time reveals one of the innumerable instances, known to 
his friends, of his forethought and generosity. While in 
England the year before he met and made friends with 
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Kendal. Shortly after his 
return to America he learned that they had arranged for 
their first tour of the United States during the winter of 



208 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1890 

1889-1890, and the tenor of his letter to them may be 
inferred from Mrs. Kendal's reply: 

DEAR MR. MANSFIELD: It is more than kind of you 
to write and say you will come to meet us on our landing 
in America. We sail the 2ist on the Servia. It will be 
indeed nice to see your kind face on our arrival!! My 
husband and I with all our children have been to Scotland 
for our holidays. Excellent weather and good fishing! 
... I am getting terribly anxious about America and 
cannot sleep for nervousness. With kindest regards and 
many, many thanks for all your kindnesses. 

Yours faithfully, 

MADGE KENDAL. 

He was their host at one of the earliest of the series of 
entertainments which distinguished their first stay. When 
they returned to New York before sailing home they 
found Mansfield in the flood tide of his success with 
" Beau Brummell," and hastened to his theatre. A few 
days later a superb gold snufF-box, set with jewels, reached 
him with this note: 

N. Y., May 23, 1890. 

MY DEAR MR. MANSFIELD: Mr. Kendal and I hope 
you will use this snufF-box whenever you play ' Beau 
Brummell" in remembrance of a delightful performance 
we shall never forget and as a token of our esteem. Wish- 
ing you all the health and happiness and prosperity you 
desire and deserve, believe me, 

Yours faithfully, 

MADGE KENDAL. 

An old portfolio in which this letter was found revealed 
many others from varying sources, but curiously alike in 
that nearly all were acknowledgments of some kindness 



1890] A NOTE FROM ELLEN TERRY 209 

or courtesy from him. One of Ellen Terry's notes of a 
year or two before radiates her joyous personality: 

DEAR MR. MANSFIELD: 

Thanks for the whole garden of flowers you sent me! 
What a sweet welcome!! Thanks and thanks. Did you 
or did I dream it ? send to me once before some mes- 
sage, or flowers, or telegram, or note ? Well, never heed, 
I'll think you did, and give you my tardy thanks, the 
which you will receive amiably and let me come and see 
you some day as "Hyde and Seek"! . . . I'd like above 
all things to go to-morrow 

IF!- 

I The Doctor to-day says I may drive in the open. 



II My little girl (she's only about six feet high) can 
come too 

and 
IF!!! 

III I can get back in time. 

And so I'll send you a line later on in the day and mean- 
while artfully get the Doctor to say I may go! 

Yours sincerely, 

ELLEN TERRY. 

Before leaving New York in the autumn of 1890 he 
felt so encouraged by the outlook for beginning the reduc- 
tion of his huge indebtedness that he decided to further 

O 

it with the sacrifice of his now considerably valuable col- 
lection of art objects, paintings, and antiques. He 
stripped his apartments at the Croisic, and had the satis- 
faction of diminishing his obligations nearly tw r enty thou- 
sand dollars. 

His fantastic extravagance, however, made trifles of 
thousands. He was the despair of his managers and his 
creditors. The first work of art that caught his fancy 



210 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1890 

became his property, even while the last of his former 
accumulation was under the hammer. His visits were 
god-sends to antique merchants in Boston, Philadelphia, 
and New Orleans. In Washington a friend of his youth- 
ful Boston days remarked that she was bored with flowers 
and candy and kindred gifts, she wanted something that 
no one else ever had. 'I'll act a play for you," said 
Mansfield, "and you shall invite only those you want to 
be present." "Queen Victoria has that," she replied. 
:< But Victoria has to pay for it. You shall not," retorted 
Mansfield, and he rented the theatre, hired the musicians 
and all attendants; sent his friend engraved invitations 
with tickets for every seat in the house, and acted " Prince 
Karl" to an audience composed exclusively of her guests. 
A careless sigh for an orchid brought another young 
lady twenty-five next morning. When he invited friends 
to be his guests in a box, they often found the rail banked 
with flowers, boxes of bonbons, refreshments in the corner 
on a tea-table for the elderly, and especially printed silken 
programmes. The daughter of a British Ambassador in 
Washington, guilelessly emphasising her fondness for 
flowers, somewhat ingenuously exclaimed she would like 
to dine on a table hidden under them. Mansfield straight- 
way gave the orders, issued the invitation, and Miss 
Sackville-West was his guest of honour at a dinner served 
on a table hidden under a blanket of buds. During his 
New York engagements he frequently sent his private car 
to Boston, Albany, Philadelphia, Baltimore, or Washing- 
ton to bring guests to dinner, supper, or the play. 

On one of his visits to Washington at this time an 
entertainment was given which revealed aspects of his 
talents seldom in evidence except to his intimate friends. 
This was nothing less than a concert given on the after- 



A MANSFIELD CONCERT 211 

noon of Friday, February 13, 1891, of "Songs, grave and 
gay, burlesque and rhymes, written and composed by Mr. 
Richard Mansfield." The programme in detail was: 

PROGRAMME 

NATIONAL ANTHEM, HAIL TO THE FLAG 

Words and Music by Richard Mansfield 
Dedicated, by permission of the President, to the President 
and the People of the United States 

CHOIR AND ORCHESTRA 

In the Twilight, . . Words and Music by Richard Mansfield 

MR. JOHN BOLZE 

Lament, a Fragment, . Words and Music by Richard Mansfield 

MISS ALICE j. M'PHERSON 
Violoncello Solo, 

MR. PAUL MIERSCH 

I Miss Thee Each Lone Hour, . Music by Richard Mansfield 

MR. j. H. M'KINLEY 

. . _. . / Written by Lord Hough ton 

r1 ' I Music by Richard Mansfield 

MISS MARGARET ELLIOTT 

An English Opera Rudolpho and Clarissa, 

Written and composed by Richard Mansfield 

SOLOS BY MISS MARGARET ELLIOTT, 

MR. j. H. M'KINLEY, AND MR. JOHN BOLZE 

T . T, f Words by Heine 

The Sea Hath Its Pearls, ( Music ^ Rkhard Mansfidd 

MR. W. WEBSTER 

Love Me Still, .... Music by Richard Mansfield 

MISS ALICE j. M'PHERSON 
Children's Waltz, . . Composed by Richard Mansfield 

ORCHESTRA 

Recitation of two rhymes written by Mr. Mansfield, 
"The Premature Fly" and "The Marmoset Monkey" 

MISS BEATRICE CAMERON 

/ The Poem by Wm. Winter 
- e P' ' I Music by Mr. Mansfield 

MR. j. H. M'KINLEY 



212 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1891 

, n , , ( Words Anonymous 

I Music by Mr. Mansfield 

MISS MARGARET ELLIOTT 

f Poem by Wm. Winter 

The Broken Harp, . . . . s * u TV*- ** c u 

I Music by Mr. Mansfield 

MISS ALICE j. M'PHERSON 

How I Came To Be a King. Words and Music by Mr. Mansfield 

Solo and Chorus 

SOLO BY MR. W. WEBSTER 

In a letter written at the end of this week he said: 

I have just returned from luncheon at the White House, 
and the President did me the high honour to take me in 
to luncheon and placed me upon his right hand. I found 
him delightful and full of information and not averse to a 
joke and quite up to the comprehension of everything 
good. The luncheon was simple but excellent and very 
tastefully served; a large basket of orchids (my favourite 
flower) in the centre of the table. Mrs. Harrison and all 
the ladies of the White House were present. The White 
House party comes to us six times this week! 

When he reached Boston in April he tried an experi- 
ment of playing several afternoons each week instead of 
in the evening, and at the request of many old friends he 
acted "Beau Brummell" one afternoon for the benefit of 
the Kindergarten for the Blind. The former venture was 
not encouraged, but, with the assistance of Mrs. Louis 
Agassiz, Mrs. William Appleton, Mrs. Maude Howe 
Elliott, Mrs. John L. Gardner and other friends, the 
charity profited handsomely by the benefit performance. 

Another of his courtesies at this time is recorded by 
George William Curtis in the Easy Chair (Harper 's, 
March, 1891): 

It was this kindliness of nature, a certain generous 
catholicity of feeling, which recently drew Mr. Richard 



i8 9 i] A STATEN ISLAND PILGRIMAGE 213 

Mansfield and his company for an evening to Staten 
Island. That pleasant municipal frontier . . . has many 
charms. ... Its inhabitants, with a simplicity not un- 
known in other rural suburbs, and traditional with 
islanders, fondly believe their island to be the most at- 
tractive spot in the neighbourhood of the city. But the 
most daring islander never alleged that its theatre was 
superior to all other theatres. In fact, though the heroic 
Staten Islander recoils from no arduous assertion, this 
would surely tax his courage, for the reason that there is 
no theatre. All the more gracious, therefore, was the 
bounty of Mr. Mansfield, who, to aid the Winter Library, 
founded by Mr. William Winter in memory of his son, a 
noble child too early lost, crossed the bay with all that 
makes a theatre except the building, and gave the most 
complete and delightful performance in the history of the 
island. . . . 

The play of " Prince Karl " is one of the dramas of high 
spirits, like the chapters of Dickens's stories where the 
impression is simply of rollicking fun. The dramatic 
unities and probabilities are very properly shown the door 
in such plays as having no part in the business in hand. 
The effect depends wholly on the promptness, intelligence, 
and sympathy of the players, and all these conditions were 
never more fully satisfied than in this performance of 
"Prince Karl." The readiness and precision with which 
every situation was seized, and every opportunity de- 
veloped with the utmost vivacity, were delightful. The 
illusion was complete. The company played as if in 
their own theatre with every resource, and never, even 
under those circumstances, could they have played with 
more spirit. 

Mr. Mansfield, who as Beau Brummell and Dr. Jekyll 
and Mr. Hyde, is the dramatic hero of the hour, displayed 
his remarkable versatility with the naturalness of action 
and freedom from exaggeration which are among his 
excellent qualities. His mimicry of private musical 
artists was irresistibly ludicrous, and proceeded amid 
peals of laughter. The effect of the droll play, which 



2i 4 RICHARD MANSFIELD [iS 9I 

extends to four acts with unabated humour, and the live- 
liness of the acting throughout, showed how entirely the 
prosperity of the play is in the actor, because the test of his 
acting is the ability to command the sympathy of his audi- 
ence. The modern theatre is so fully upholstered that the 
scenery and setting seem almost to dispute the eye with the 
players. But although the setting of " Prince Karl" w r as 
of extreme economy, the most sumptuous appointments 
would not have added to the enjoyment of the merry 
scene. Scenery and setting may please the eye, but the 
art of the player does not require them, and without that 
art scenery is a pointless pageant. The Easy Chair saw 
the elder Booth literally in a barn, but the terrible im- 
pression of his Sir Edward Mortimer and Sir Giles Over- 
reach does not fade. The most sumptuous and care- 
fully historical settings could not have made Garrick's 
great effects greater than they were. 'What we want," 
said Mr. Mansfield, "is silence, not scenery." 

It was a bright evening that he gave to Staten Island, 
and its purpose was another illustration of the quality of 
the fraternity to which he belongs the generosity of the 
player. . . . Of the artificial comedy Lamb said that 
modern times could not bear it. But of Mr. Mansfield 
and his company how much Staten Island could bear! 

Having acted in New York City, at the Garden Theatre, 
for the first time, throughout the month of January, he 
returned in May with the fruition of a winter's work, 
prosecuted in connection with his other labours, in the 
shape of a new play of which he was the author. 

It was like him not to be content with any success, but 
boldly and resolutely to push forward with other ambitious 
projects. He was in fact at the threshold of a new epoch 
in his public life. If the last eight years had yielded their 
disappointments, they were insignificant in comparison 
with the achievements. After Chevrial, Hyde, Monsieur 
de Jadot, Prince Karl, King Richard III, and Beau 



i8 9 i] BREAKER'S AHEAD 215 

Brummell, nothing from Mansfield could have surprised 
the confident public nothing except the persistence of 
fortune in withholding good plays from him during the 
next eight years. 

He now enters upon a period of struggle and disap- 
pointment, but of perseverance and slow, bruising ground- 
gains. It illustrates the necessity of great plays and great 
roles to exploit dramatic genius, and it illustrates, too, the 
uncertainty of the actor's career even when formulated 
and prosectited by an artist of unremitting zeal and ex- 
tended personal popularity. 



CHAPTER SEVENTEEN 

(1891-1892) 

Entering a period of failures and half -successes "Don Juan" 
Preparing productions " Nero " Associating the role with the 
actor As to criticism A plea for poetry on the stage Tittlebat 
Titmouse in "Ten Thousand a Year"- A jump across the con- 
tinent Two pictures of reading a play Impressions from a car 
window A rose matinee The influence of light on the stage 
The countenance "The Storm" The voice His physical 
limitations. 

ON his return to New York in the spring of 1891, he 
found the city refreshing itself in the sunshine. It seemed 
an auspicious season to introduce his " Don Juan," with its 
Spanish background of crimson and yellow, its rout of 
laces and ribbons and curls, its smiles and pouts, its 
flirtations and philandering, all so gay, debonair, incon- 
sequential. 

He wrote this "whimsical tale in four scenes" at odd 
moments, the preceding winter, on the trail of a score of 
cities, during the rare intervals when leisure was in a 
yielding mood. 

From Boston, late in April, he wrote Dithmar: 'If 
you care about hearing from me, forgive me for not having 
written if you don't forgive me for writing. I have been 
overworked writing Don Juan rehearsing Don Juan 
(what a task that is! and the oldest actors are the most 
difficile) costuming Don Juan framing Don Juan- 

216 



i8 9 i] "DON JUAN' 217 

lying awake, worrying, fretting, fuming, full of doubts, 
anxiety and misgivings about Don Juan. Yesterday 
(April 21) I completed the work I sat at it from early 
until late but it is finished! I shall never, I think, un- 
dertake such another task." 

"Don Juan, or, The Sad Adventures of a Youth," as the 
comedy was sub-titled, followed a fortnight of his reper- 
toire at the Garden Theatre, where it was seen first on 
May 1 8, iSgi. 1 The occasion was given piquancy by 
the fact that it presented, as in the case of 'Monsieur," 
an instance of author, manager, and actor embodied in 
one person. 

A first night of a new play presented and acted by 
Mansfield now claimed attention as one of the events of 
the year. Without resorting to artificial devices his 
audiences represented every distinguished element in the 
life of the metropolis. The gathering that greeted " Don 
Juan" that May evening deluged him with applause and 
sent him home in an ecstasy of confidence. 

In the preparation of his fable Mansfield drew on the 
familiar legends of the Spanish Lothario and his servant, 
Leporello. But he refined the character and drew its 
sting by making Don Juan the embodiment of untamed 

1 The cast of characters was: 

Don Alonzo, Duke de Navarro Mr. D. H. Harkins. 



Don Luis, Count de Marana 

Don Juan, his son . 

Guzman, Preceptor to Don Juan 

Leperello, servant to Don Juan 

Sebastien, an actor of Saragossa 

An aged Innkeeper . 

An Attendant .... 

Another Attendant . 

Donna Julia, Duchess de Navarro 

Donna Emilia, Countess de Marana 

Donna Elvira, sister of the Duke 

Zerlina, betrothed to Sebastien 

Geralda, maid to Donna Julia 

Anna 

Lucia, a ward of Marana 



Mr. W. H. Crompton. 
Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Mr. A. G. Andrews. 
Mr. W. J. Ferguson. 
Mr. Vincent Sternroyd. 
Mr. Harry Gwynette. 
Mr. Ivan Perronet. 
Mr. T. Finch Smiles. 
Miss Ada Dwyer. 
Miss Hazel Selden. 
Miss Maggie Holloway. 
Miss Minnie Dupree. 
Miss Maud Monroe. 
Miss Rolinda Bainbridge. 
Miss Beatrice Cameron. 



2i8 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1891 

youth rather than an example of matured licentiousness. 
The incidents were in the main of his own devising, the 
closing scene was entirely so. Here self-sacrifice ennobled 
the character and further attached it to the sympathies. 
The language was poetic and epigrammatic by turns, 
the action swift and vivacious, the humour sprightly, and 
the whole fabric lent itself to the expression of a large 
range of versatile artistry, from surface flippancy to the 
deep emotions of the soul. 

The last act revealed Don Juan in prison, wounded 
and at the point of death. There were skilfully marked 
transitions, from lucidity to delirium and back again, while 
the representation of each mental phase was brilliantly 
executed. Here the finer nature of the youth came out 
from its life-long eclipse, and charm and beauty overlaid 
the spectacle of a tottering mind. 

Mansfield sustained the impersonation on a plane of 
high comedy during the earlier scenes. At the close he 
informed the role with tragic significance, which was 
accomplished in a manner described in dependable records 
as worthy of a place at the elbow of his loftiest previous 
achievement. 

The attitude and expressions of the audience on the 
first night seemed to leave no doubt of a complete and 
permanent triumph. This view, however, was not 
echoed in all the reviews thereafter. Only fine and subtle 
natures yielded to the charm of this performance. It 
flourished for a time sustained by the other figures in 
Mansfield's gallery, but after that inexplicable first night 
of unstinted applause there was gradual awakening on 
his part to the necessity of basing hopes of another perma- 
nent portrait in the repertoire on one of the unacted 
plays. Mansfield could not yet lead the public. They 




RICHARD MANSFIELD IN "DON JUAN" 



i8 9 i] "NERO" 219 

still followed the critics. Later, however, they followed 
him. 

As the hot June nights made acting an agony he longed 
for his old haunts on the Sound coast. But the " Beau 
Brummell" earnings were all sunk in "Don Juan" and, 
as another new production was imminent, he gave himself 
and his company a mere fortnight's rest, abandoned all 
further thought of a summer in cool retreats, and returned 
to the theatre to grind out the ammunition for a new 
attack. "Don Juan" had lingered until the end of June, 
when it was placed in the repertoire, which was acted 
throughout the summer. He acted by night and studied 
day times on his new character. This was Nero which 
was written on his suggestion by T. Russell Sullivan. 

Mood dominated Mansfield's processes to such a 
degree that, until a character and a play were crystallised 
in their performance, after which he rarely changed by 
a hair's breadth, it was a difficult study to get his wishes 
about a production. Sometimes he was entirely frank in 
discussion. He would outline every scene, denote the 
colour and light scheme, define the dimensions, indicate 
the exact entrances, sketch each of the settings in its 
details, and send his manager happy to his task of trans- 
lating his ideas into canvas and paint. This was the case 
with "Nero." But he was in town and in the stride of 
his work. When he was recreating in the country it was 
quite different. Then it was next to impossible to get a 
word out of him. Perhaps he would be cruising up the 
Sound and would send for his manager to come and talk 
over the preparation of a new production. But all the time 
of the visit would be spent in agreeable discussion of any 
topic but the imminent one. No amount of leading ques- 
tions would draw him back to the production about to be 



220 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1891 

made. Two and three of these trips would be made 
without an inkling of his intention. Finally, he would 
brush the whole matter aside with: 'You know per- 
fectly well what is wanted. Go ahead. The colours ? 
Get a good artist and he'll know. The entrances ? 
Don't you bother about that. I hope I'm artist enough 
to adapt myself to conditions as I find them. Don't 
worry, I'll find the door." 

Under these vague instructions the scenery was built, 
and sometimes it was with much difficulty that he was 
induced to view it at the studio. Now nothing drew his 
ideas so quickly and so directly as something antagonistic 
to them. If he had no directions to give before a scene 
was built, he had a score immediately he saw it. So in 
many cases he made his productions doubly expensive, 
because they were not merely built and painted, but 
rebuilt and repainted. 

He started on a production with a brave resolution to 
be economical. He would impress it on his manager in 
every talk and in every letter. Then, when he came to 
consider the costumes and properties and furniture, he 
would in fifteen minutes add thousands of dollars to the 
cost. He simply could not be economical. Something 
"just as good" was not good enough for him. He liked 
the reality of luxury, pomp, and elegance. Often, when 
the production was made, there remained as many fur- 
nishings unused as used. He did not merely spend on 
"Nero," he squandered. The public was invited to see 
the new play on September 2I. 1 

1 It was acted with this cast: 



Nero . 

Menacrates, favorite to Nero . 
Phaon, the freed man of Nero 
Babilus, an astrologer 
Lysias, an Athenian 



Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Mr. D. H. Harkins. 
Mr. Frank Lander. 
Mr. W. J. Ferguson. 
Mr. William Haworth. 



'NERO" 221 

The first three acts were original, the last two were a 
free translation of Cossa's Italian play. His own char- 
acterisation was a new study in wickedness. He displayed 
Nero as essentially an artist, his depravities all emanating 
from the perversion of his inherent artistic sense. The 
expression he gave the imperial pervert's cruelty, cun- 
ning, cowardice, treachery, and sensuality cemented him, 
in the judgment of discerning minds, as a supreme ex- 
pression of a sinister nature. But neither character nor 
play was on a plane with the popular appetite, and 
"Nero" was dead before the flowers in the tyrant's 
hair. 

Mr. Palmer afterward said: 'Don Juan' and 'Nero' 
were each remarkable achievements. Mansfield had not 
yet found his public. To-day," he spoke in 1899, "both 
characterisations would have achieved the popularity their 
artistic excellence deserved." Mansfield himself often re- 
gretted that he had squandered so excellent a play as 
"Nero" on a period when his fame was not sufficient to 
attract the public up to his level, and at times he con- 
templated its revival. " Don Juan " was afterwards printed 
by the De Vinne Press and survives to witness the credit- 
able performance of the author at least. 

Although, even at this time, Mansfield had demonstrated 
that his versatility was equal to almost any note in the 
human gamut, his Baron Chevrial, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. 
Hyde, King Richard III, and Nero threatened to estab- 
lish him as the pre-eminent and exclusive exponent of the 



Sylvanus, Centurion Guard 

Novalis ; 

Messala .... 

Grembo, a publican 

Dutus, an actor 

Charis, a Greek dancing girl 

Acte 



Mr. W. H. Crompton. 
Mr. A. G. Andrews. 
Mr. Finch Smiles. 
Mr. Henry Gwynette. 
Mr. T. F. Graham. 
Miss Emma V. Sheridan. 
Miss Beatrice Cameron. 



222 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1891 

black passions in spite of his sunnier Prince Karl, Mon- 
sieur Jadot, Don Juan, and Beau Brummell. Indeed, so 
real and powerful was his projection of these tragic roles 
that the public began to identify the character with the 
actor and attribute to him, in fact, the mimic disposition 
of his mere pretense. The history of the stage is rich 
in similar instances. An actor once went to a physician 
and begged for relief from melancholy. "Go see Gri- 
maldi," said the leech. "Alas," replied the clown, "I 
am Grimaldi." 

Though Mansfield repeated all his roles at intervals as 
long as he acted, from now on he made it his purpose 
as far as possible to present characters in which the cruel, 
depraved, and antagonistic aspects of human nature were 
absent, even if sympathy were not always present. 

Nevertheless the indifference to Don Juan and Nero 
galled him. He believed that they were not less admirable 
than his other work, and he could not understand why 
praise bestowed on trifles like Prince Karl and Mon- 
sieur Jadot were withheld from subtler, finer, and im- 
measurably loftier endeavours. 

In the reiterated criticism of the last two plays he 
suspected a personal malevolence. As it was extended 
he attributed it to collusion. Believing himself the vic- 
tim of injustice he struck back. In several instances this 
winter he wrote letters to the papers protesting in sharp 
terms against the criticism he was receiving. 

What he thought and felt crystallised the next year in 
the North American Review: 

Let not the youthful critic, from whose responsible pen 
depends the weighty power of a mighty journal, clip off 
the head of every bud that thrusts its head above the 
rotting leaves. Who knows how beautiful and radiant it 



i8 9 i] ON CRITICISM 223 

might grow to be ? A word written lasts longer than a 
word spoken, and what is printed is sometimes read, and 
what is read cannot be blotted out always. Separate the 
man from his art. If you dislike the man, you have no 
right to condemn his art. Your sense of honour must 
make you just. Personal abuse is not criticism. Never. 
It is unworthy of any great journal, and it degrades the 
country in which the journal is published. Criticise with 
dignity, if you criticise at all. What is worthy of criticism 
is worthy of respect. If it is absolutely unworthy, treat 
it as you treat the silliness of a strange child, with silence. 
Reflect when you say bitter and biting things how you 
would bear these words addressed to you. Think, be- 
fore you tear down, how long it took to build up what 
work, what suffering, what expenditure of hard-earned 
means. Remember, you are not writing to show the 
world how clever you are, but how just you can be. 
Recollect that your lightest word weighs heavy with the 
object of your praise or censure. 

Do not fail to consider that the actor who works with 
his nerves, who has travelled much and suffered much, is 
an irritable being, dyspeptic, perchance, and that bitter 
and hostile criticism is a cruel dose after a dish of enervat- 
ing toil. Know that the actor is a child in his relations 
with the world and lives in a cloudland of his own. His 
one desire is to please; when he fails he is angry with him- 
self, angry with all the world about him. He has striven, 
and he generally knows in his heart, much better than you 
can tell him, that he has failed. Take the object of his 
attainment into consideration. If his art has in it the 
germ of goodness, or of greatness, pray foster and cherish 
it, and be kind, and gracious, and gentle, always. If 
you are harsh with him and unduly bitter and per- 
sonal, do not blame him if he retaliates he is probably 
only human, and be man enough not to bear rancour 
if he gives you a Roland for your Oliver, since you 
brought it upon yourself, and the "Freedom of the 
press" does not mean the privilege, with immunity, of 
abuse. 



224 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1891 

Many disagreed with him, but on the whole just as 
many respected the young enthusiast. Nevertheless, such 
scolding of the critics effected little beyond alienating the 
interests of valuable journals which he was years in win- 
ning back. His impulsive resentment broke out in this 
manner only one other time, in the late spring of 1898. 
Thereafter he held his peace, but his growth with the 
public and with the abler critics was such that his dignity 
could not afford nor did the inconsiderable effect warrant 
any notice of the dissenters. It will be seen later with 
what imperturbability he was able to consider an isolated 
but persistent attack made in San Francisco on his last 
visit to that city. 

In the same paper quoted above, he published one of 
the articles of his artistic credo: 

The stage is for Poetry! It is not for merchants and 
mechanics and penny-a-liners. It is for Poetry! I could 
stand upon this summit and cry out that this is a stupid 
business day, from the rising of the sun to the setting of it; 
that young men in short hose talk money, that middle- 
aged and old, and girls and women [talk it], and that we are 
dying of it and suffocating, that books are full of it, and 
that the air is laden with it, and that we go about with 
itching palms and hooked fingers; that all the world would 
be better for Poetry; that the heart would beat more gently, 
and the mind be more sweetly oiled, and the soul soar 
higher for the contemplation of Poetry. 

And that is what the stage is for. Neither for rot, nor 
for drivel, nor for filth, nor for tanks of water, nor for 
ancient dames in tights, nor for cheap sentiment, nor for 
catchpennies, but for Poetry. And not incomprehen- 
sible either, for the "Morte d' Arthur" and all the "Tales 
of the Round Table" are Poetry, and "Hiawatha" and a 
thousand Indian legends there are that are Poetry; and 
so is "Lucile" of poor dead Meredith; all are the things 



i8 9 i] POETRY ON THE STAGE 225 

some of us, lying in the grass with our faces to the sky- 
lark, dream of on a summer day or on a moonlit evening 
those things that come to us with a whiff of the balsam- 
pine or the break of the sea on the beach, or the touch of 
a soft hand or the discovery of a withered flower. It is in 
us always, and it will crop out in the most hardened of 
us, and where we should always see it, and where it should 
forever awaken all that was born good and beautiful in us 
is upon the stage. 

The stage should not be for temptation, from the de- 
liverance of which we pray in the morning and which we 
court in the evening; it should not be for the idiotic laugh 
and the imbecile applause; it is not for the drunkard and 
the wanton; it is not to be shrieked at to-day and to be 
ashamed of to-morrow; it is not for gymnastics; it is for 
the gracious, the graceful, the thoughtful, the gentle; it 
is to send us home with better thoughts and better feelings; 
with a lesson learned by example and with food for pleasant 
reflection. It is for wholesome mirth or for such stirring 
tragedy as will fire us to nobler deeds, or for such potent 
example as will sicken us of evil-doing. That is the stage 
as I understand it and as I will strive for it. 

When he struck the anvil rang. He lived and acted as 
he wrote from the shoulder. It was inevitable that such 
a positive character would make enemies. He multiplied 
them right and left, and they pursued him through the 
press. All his life he was annoyed by the exaggerations 
and fictions of flippant journalism. "Anything about 
Mansfield short of libel" is said to have been the license 
allowed the romancers in one paper. They finally died 
of their own poison. Fewer and fewer believed them. 

Interviews with Mansfield at this time became a vogue. 
He had a trenchant wit, an ironic humour. His observa- 
tions were bold, direct, incisive. " Mansfield is always 
good copy," was a common editorial adage. But the 



226 RICHARD MANSFIELD [i8 92 

demand for interviews became so general and insistent 
at times, and the interviewers put such peppery turns 
to his phrases that, for long intervals during the last 
fifteen years of his life, he refused interviews to even the 
powerful journals. The leading periodicals now sought 
his essays for his views and the authority of his opinion, 
but especially the vital personality he put into them. He 
was not a prolific writer, however. All his thought and 
energy was devoted to the stage. He even wrote few 
letters of significance, and in all, his published articles 
were only five: 

'The Story of a Production," which was an account of 
his production of ''King Richard III' in London, for 
Harper s Weekly, May 24, 1890; "A Plain Talk on the 
Drama," in the North American Review for September, 
1892; "Concerning Acting," in the same magazine Sep- 
tember, 1894; on "Audiences," in Collier's Weekly for 
October 6, 1900; and on "Man and the Actor," in the 
Atlantic Monthly for May, 1906. At other times he 
entertained flattering commissions and sometimes wrote 
his articles, but he was his own severest critic and tore 
up his copy. 

Following the production of "Nero" he made a brief 
tour to the larger eastern cities to play "Nero" and "Don 
Juan" with his other familiar roles, and was back again 
at the Garden Theatre in February, 1892, bristling with 
the final preparations of another new play. 

This was Emma Sheridan's dramatisation of Samuel 
Warren's novel, "Ten Thousand a Year." Tittlebat Tit- 
mouse fascinated him because though a dandy, he was 
the antithesis in all points to Beau Brummell. Titmouse 
was a dandy by affectation, Brummell by nature. Mans- 
field's confidence in contrasts betrayed him. 



1892] 



TEN THOUSAND A YEAR 



227 



'Ten Thousand a Year" was acted first at the Garden 
Theatre, February 23.' 

There was no success for the enterprise. It was worked 
over day by day without result and was withdrawn 
March 15. The season at the Garden Theatre ended 
Saturday evening April 9, when, for the first time, he 
tried the experiment so successful afterward of acting 
detached scenes from various plays. The programme 
included Act III of "Prince Karl," containing the satirical 
musical sketch; Act III of "Beau Brummell," the Mall 
scene; Act IV of "A Parisian Romance," the banquet 
scene; the tipsy scene from 'Ten Thousand a Year"; 
and Act II from "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." 

Whatever disappointment he felt about Titmouse was 
engulfed by a new project of large appeal. Like all 
imaginative temperaments Mansfield loved travel. New 
scenes, new faces, movement, and variety all stimulated 
him, whereas a run in one theatre, however successful, 
fretted him to desperation. With the eagerness of a lad 
on a holiday he started on April 10, with his company of 
thirty and the productions of the seven plays of his 



' The cast was: 

The Earl of Dreadlingcourt 

Lord Yazoo 

Mr. Oily Gammon . 

Mr. Tagrag 

Mr. Brew 

Tittlebat Titmouse . 

Huckabuck 

Tweedles, a footman 

A Hair-dresser . 

Another Footman 

Dowager Lady Holdard 

Lady Arabella . 

Lady Cecelia Dreadlingcourt 

Lady Maud 

Miss Brew 

Miss Aubrey 

Mrs. Squallop 

Tessy Tagrag . 



Mr. W. N. Griffith. 
Mr. Cecil Butler. 
Mr. D. H. Harkins. 
Mr. W. J. Ferguson. 
Mr. Henry Gwynette. 
Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Mr. A. G. Andrews. 
Mr. F. Finch-Smiles. 
Mr. T. F. Graham. 
Mr. Henry DeVere. 
Miss Annie Allison. 
Miss Rolinda Bainbridge. 
Miss Adela Measor. 
Miss Marie Stewart. 
Miss Eleanor Markillie. 
Miss Perdita Hudspeth. 
Miss Hazel Seldon. 
Miss Beatrice Cameron. 



228 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1892 

repertoire, in his first special train for his first tour to 
the Pacific Coast as a star; his first visit since his debut 
in San Francisco with the Union Square Company nine 
years before. 

He was the life of the trip. He gave dinners and sup- 
pers in his car to which the members of his company 
were invited, and they acted charades, arranged im- 
promptu concerts, mock trials, and various games, 
including "hunt-the-eggs," remembered from the boy- 
hood days in Boston. One day in the Rocky Mountains, 
when every one was tired, hot, and dusty from the four 
days and nights of travel, he had the train stopped while 
he and others took a stroll up an inviting canyon. The 
incident infuriated the railroad people and it was made 
much of as an evidence of his eccentricity. 

He was received in San Francisco with distinction. 
Reporters were sent to Sacramento to meet his train; his 
performances were applauded by crowds, and he made 
many warm personal friendships which lasted through 
life. 

While in San Francisco the company was one day sum- 
moned to a photographer's studio. No one guessed the 
reason. After waiting an hour Mansfield finally arrived. 
Arranging all in a group, he seated himself in the centre 
reading a manuscript. 'Will every one look as pleased 
as possible?' he asked, as the photographer exposed 
the negative. The instruction for the next exposure was: 
'Now let every one be vexed and bored and close his 
eyes as if sound asleep." He continued to read, but, 
whereas in the first pose he had shown no interest, 
in this one his face was beaming. Of course his direc- 
tions were to be obeyed, but no one understood, and 
gradually the members of the company drifted out of 



i8 92 ] IMPRESSIONS ON TOUR 229 

the studio quite confirmed in their belief in his madness. 
His old friend, Dan Harkins, however, unable to curb 
his curiosity, remained behind and begged an explanation. 
"Simply two pictures of my company listening to me read- 
ing plays," replied Mansfield. 'The first was a popular 
author's, the second was one of my own." These pic- 
torial jokes on his attempts as a dramatist amused him 
and they hung in his home the remainder of his life. 

The return trip eastward, made via Los Angeles, 
Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, Salt Lake City, and Denver, 
was a continuation of San Francisco's cordiality. 

These cities are long journeys removed from each other 
through a wonderland whose barren ruggedness fas- 
cinated him. He wrote many of his impressions, but 
destroyed what he had written. From a mass of old 
papers there fluttered this single leaf, the text without 
beginning or end, but richly suggestive of the trend of his 
thoughts in the hours alone by the car window: 

. . . sharp turns. On this side there is naught but 
sand and sage-brush, upon the opposite bank rise sterile 
mountains. We see here and there a cow which wears 
upon its countenance an expression of complacent wonder 
as to why it is there, a wonder which is fully shared by the 
traveller, with an added percentage of inquiry as to what 
the cow lives on. Salmon fisheries of curious construc- 
tion are seen here and there on river shores, and now and 
then wigwams of Indians. But the traveller has little 
inclination to regard the scenery if he travel in summer 
time, since he will be mainly occupied by a vain and 
futile endeavour to inhale some pure air. Through every 
crevice a horrible fine dust penetrates and threatens suf- 
focation. ... On the right bank of the river we pres- 
ently came upon curious natural fortifications, ramparts, 
outworks, bastions, etc. all Nature's handiwork, although 



230 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1892 

it was hard to believe man had not assisted. Isolated 
monuments or tumuli were also discovered, and the 
imagination might easily work out the history of some 
vast city lying behind those impregnable ramparts and 
distinguish the tombs of great chiefs erected beyond the 
outer walls. In brief, Nature has fortified all the land on 
the eastern shore of the Columbia River, and any enemy 
advancing from the westward could be easily and effec- 
tively . . . 

Sometimes the call of the wilderness was too strong to 
be resisted and he made digressions into the mountains to 
hunt and fish. When other occupations yielded the 
leisure, he wrote fantastic nonsense for his guests, and 
these sketches were afterward embodied in his little 
volume, 'Blown Away." He was in a perfectly aban- 
doned mood of sprightly gayety throughout the trip. The 
reason will become apparent later on. 

A comedy characteristic of Mansfield's methodic 
promptitude, courtliness, and generosity was improvised 
when he reached Tacoma. He was to give the first of 
his three performances there on Monday, May 30. Every 
ticket was sold and the house was crowded when the 
local manager received this message: "Delayed by wash- 
out. Hold audience. Curtain at 9.30." He had had 
other experiences of this pattern and at 8.20 he de- 
cided to dismiss the audience. It was, however, his 
first experience with Mansfield whom he forthwith dis- 
covered to be a miracle of promptitude. At 8.40 the 
actor walked into the front door to find the last of his 
magnificent audience straggling out of the theatre. His 
opinion of this procedure was given with unsparing 
candour and emphasis. 

He was gradually losing control of himself and sue- 



i8 9 2] CALMING A STORM 231 

cumbing to his nerves, when a young lady detached her- 
self from one of the parties late in leaving the theatre and 
interrupted him. "Mr. Mansfield," she said, "however 
you feel about the abandonment of this performance, the 
disappointment is really ours. We Tacoma people have 
been looking forward to seeing you for years. We have 
tickets for 'Beau Brummell' and 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. 
Hyde,' but that does not outweigh our disappointment in 
not seeing ' Prince Karl ' to-night. You may not come 
back again for years, so you cannot feel as badly about 
to-night's misfortune as we do, for we shall probably 
never see 'Prince Karl." 

He was always susceptible to a compliment, especially 
when so evidently sincere. The storm was over in an 
instant. He thanked her and replied, " I am to give that 
play in Seattle on Thursday evening. If you and the 
members of your party will be my guests, I will gladly 
take you over on my car and place a box at your dis- 
posal with my compliments." 

The invitation was accepted. On the way to Seattle 
on Thursday a sudden friendship developed between 
Mansfield and his Tacoma acquaintances. They were 
Mr. Post, his daughter, whose pretty speech had won 
the actor, and several girl companions. Again and again 
they impressed on him the loss and disappointment of 
their Tacoma friends and their regret that the others 
also could not come to see "Prince Karl" in Seattle. His 
chivalry was roused. 'We'll fix that," he said. "I will 
put my company and my scenery on the train and return 
to Tacoma to-morrow afternoon and give a special 
matinee of 'Prince Karl,' if you will accept the tickets 
and distribute them among your friends." 

Mansfield's manner never left any doubt of his sin- 



232 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1892 

cerity and to decline was to offend. Next morning a 
special train took the whole party back to Tacoma. The 
theatre was packed in the afternoon with the most beau- 
tiful audience imaginable, and Mansfield was received in 
a manner he never forgot. 

There probably are nowhere else such lovers of roses 
as the people of the Pacific northwest, and this was the 
month of roses. Every one invited by Miss Post sent 
flowers to Mansfield. It is unlikely so many roses were 
ever before seen in a theatre at one time. According to 
a local newspaper, "they were piled eight feet high all over 
the stage. The climax of the floral bombardment was 
reached when four men passed over the footlights a basket 
which was said to contain one thousand roses!" 

Mr. Slocum, his manager, had been successful in secur- 
ing cash guarantees for Mansfield's appearances this sea- 
son. It eliminated the element of risk and for a time he 
approved the policy. One night, however, he was humili- 
ated to discover that he had received more for his perform- 
ance than the manager of the theatre had taken in by the 
sale of tickets. From that time he refused to play on these 
terms, for he did not believe it wholly just that he should 
be paid more than he could draw. This rule was observed 
for a while, but gradually his managers accepted an 
occasional guarantee. Nor was this without Mansfield's 
knowledge. However, he always asked for the statement 
of receipts. On only two occasions did he fail to make 
a profit for the speculative resident manager, and in each 
instance he sent for the man and insisted on sharing the 
receipts such as they were. 

On his return to New York at the conclusion of this 
tour, several interviews with him were printed, and in 
one of them he gave this significant answer as to what 



i8 92 ] LIGHT 233 

made the great essential difference between the art of the 
older school of acting and the new: 

'Light. The older stage was practically in darkness. 
Consequently the actor who made the most noise invoked 
the greatest amount of applause. When we note the 
difference between the methods of to-day and those of 
Forrest's time, for instance, we at first conclude that the 
former methods are the more natural, because they sub- 
stitute milder vocalisation for the older vociferation. But 
it all resolves itself to a question of light. The older 
lighted stages gave no scope to facial play and details of 
movement. Hence more loudness was necessary. Per- 
haps, Forrest, if he were to appear to-day in the style of 
his time, would be laughed off the stage; but at the 
same time Forrest, if he really should appear, would fit 
his fine intelligence to the changed conditions, and 
employ the vast advantage which light alone gives the 
modern actor." 

The countenance was one of his most expressive agents. 
He could "frame his face to all occasions" and he con- 
tinually impressed his players with the necessity of feeling 
deeply the emotions of a role and reflecting them in their 
faces. To illustrate the mute eloquence of facial expres- 
sion, he urged them to practise a pantomimic exercise of 
his own devising which he called 'The Storm." He 
represented a child who had been detained indoors on 
account of an approaching storm. The child stands 
before the window pouting. At first he sees no storm. 
But presently his features resolve themselves into mingled 
surprise and unwilling consciousness that the clouds are 
gathering. His eyes search the heavens and his face 
reflects the dread inspired by the massing clouds. A 
snapping of the eyelids and quick contraction of the 



234 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1892 

muscles about the eyes and forehead repeatedly attest 
the flashes of lightning. One could hear the thunders as 
the jaws clinch and the whole face contracted as if to repel 
the crashes. The recession of the storm is noted by less 
frequent flashes and crashes. Finally, only the eyes dance 
to an occasional illumination. The whole countenance 
becomes calm with the promise of the breaking clouds, 
and then wistful and hopeful as the storm recedes. In an- 
other moment the eyes begin to dance and sparkle, a thou- 
sand smiles wreathe the face, and there, as in a mirror, the 
sunshine is reflected from the now radiant heavens. 

He gave a painter's attention to his make-up, which he 
described as "painting a portrait on the canvas of the 
face." This portrait he illuminated with all the emotions 
of the role he was playing. In spite of the elaborate care 
he gave to the variety and detail of his make-up, he always 
subordinated it to the expression which he projected from 
within. Because the countenance is hidden and its plas- 
ticity is hindered by hair, he rarely used it on the face. 
There were a few wisps of hair on Ivan's chin, but Shylock 
was the only role in which he used a beard, and in later 
years he made it short and thin. In Chevrial, Prince 
Karl, Beaucaire, Captain Bluntschli, and Cyrano de 
Bergerac, he employed the moustache, but only in the 
last two was it more than a hair line. He wanted a full, 
free, unencumbered countenance in which to mirror the 
emotions with his art, not with a rabbit's foot. 

His voice he used, not alone to read, but rather to con- 
vey feeling. John Corbin once, years after this period, 
conveyed the effect of this magnificent organ in the 
metaphor of colours: 'The touchstone of histrionic 
genius is ... in the power of giving vibrant force and 
varied colour to the verbal utterances of emotion. 



i8 9 2] THE VOICE 235 

Some excellent voices suggest silver. They do very well 
for the mind or movements of the heart, the palely re- 
flected moonlight of the spirit. Mansfield's voice is pure 
gold. Even in its most delicate and colloquial shadmgs 
it has the fresh colour, the unmistakable authenticity of 
sunlight. Its anger is torrid, its rage scarlet; and when 
the shadow of defeat, despair, and even death, passes over 
and into it, it glows with the crimson and the purple of 
the sunset." 

This is curiously interesting as well as expressive, for 
Mansfield himself, addressing the graduates of the Amer- 
ican Academy of Dramatic Arts, March 28, 1901, had 
employed a similar figure: 

'When you are enacting a part, think of your voice as 
a colour, and, as you paint your picture (the character 
you are painting, the scene you are portraying), mix your 
colours. You have on your palate (pallet) a white voice, 
la voix blanche; a heavenly, ethereal or blue voice, the 
voice of prayer; a disagreeable, jealous, or yellow voice; 
a steel-gray voice for quiet sarcasm; a brown voice of 
hopelessness; a lurid voice of hot rage; a deep, thunder- 
ous voice of black; a cheery voice, the colour of the green 
sea that a brisk breeze is crisping, and then there is a 
pretty little pink voice, and shades of violet . . . but 
the subject is endless." 

His voice grew in strength, depth, flexibility, and en- 
durance the longer he lived. He had such control over 
it that he was able to finish an evening of Cyrano, Richard, 
Peer Gynt, or any lengthy role stronger vocally than when 
he began, though he was all but prostrated physically. He 
said that he owed this control to his mother's method. 
He sang with equal facility and enjoyed introducing a 
snatch of song into a part. 



236 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1892 

Nature had been kind to him only in giving certain raw 
material and the art to perfect it. Stature and comeliness 
he had not. Like Garrick, he was below an imposing 
height, measuring about five feet eight inches. He was 
original and skilful in making certain characters appear 
tall, however, notably Prince Karl, Brutus, Beau Brum- 
inell, Dick Dudgeon, Beaucaire, and the youthful Peer 
Gynt. He carried himself erect, dressed his legs in dark 
colours and tight clothing, held his heels together, as often 
as possible presented a three-quarter front, rarely dropped 
the hands to arm's length, and defined a long leg by 
placing his hand on an imaginary waistline several inches 
above the real one. Again, like Garrick, he had a regular, 
almost negative, countenance when not illuminated by 
expression. His face was a departure from the "classic 
front of Jove" of the old-time actor. Distinction, force, 
and power were discernible in his features, but they sug- 
gested any profession, least of all acting. He would not 
wear a frock-coat and abominated long hair. In the con- 
tour of his compact head might be seen the long firm chin, 
which indicates that all the intellectuality of the broad 
brow was translated into action. He typified his genera- 
tion an active, imaginative, nervous man in an active, 
imaginative, nervous age. 

He accomplished the masks and manners of his gal- 
lery especially the comely youths by sheer force ot 
an art which could summon youth and beauty into the 
countenance as if they were simple emotions. Amy Leslie 
once asked him how he managed the face of guileless Karl, 
and for her temerity received one of Mansfield's charac- 
teristic responses which left her credulity dangling be- 
tween merriment and a miracle: 'The simplest thing in 
the world. It is all a matter of self-imposed mental in- 




BEATRICE CAMERON AS HESTER PRYNNE 



MENTALITY IN MAKE-UP 237 

fluence. One thinks one is young and frank and engaging, 
and immediately one is young and frank and engaging: 
behold Karl!" 

Mentality was indubitably the governing pigment in 
his "making up." He strove with all the hypnotic force 
of his imposing intellect to transform himself mind, 
heart, and body into the role he was acting. If one 
could be, it was not difficult to do. Being and acting 
fused. He became a character and allowed the character 
to act. 



CHAPTER EIGHTEEN 

(1892-1893) 

Marriage to Beatrice Cameron Acts Arthur Dimmesdale in "The 
Scarlet Letter" Benjamin Harrison An open letter on Shake- 
spearean productions. 

FROM the first day that Miss Cameron came into his 
company, Mansfield was her suitor. Unconsciously, per- 
haps, he at first beguiled himself as well as others with 
the belief that it was art and not heart that fascinated 
him. But this illusion fell away. The companionship 
he craved and found in her swift perception and in her 
intelligent sympathy with all his hopes and plans and 
efforts, coupled with the confidence he felt on the stage 
with so disinterestedly devoted an artist at his elbow, begot 
a complete but sweet dependence with which he never 
honoured any other person. 

Miss Cameron spent the summer of 1892 with her 
friends Mr. and Mrs. Edward N. Gibbs and Miss George 
Gibbs, at their country place near Norwich, Connecticut. 
Mansfield bestowed himself at the Fort Griswold House, 
on the Thames opposite New London, and rode or drove 
the fifteen miles every day of their vacation. 

On the fifteenth of September, that autumn, they were 
married by the Reverend Dr. Johnson at the Church of 
the Redeemer, in Eighty-second Street, New York City. 
The wedding was private and was attended only by Mr. 

238 



l8 9 2] 



THE SCARLET LETTER 



239 



and Mrs. Gibbs, Miss Gibbs, Mrs. E. A. Buck and Mr. 
John Slocum. A merry breakfast followed at the 
Plaza Hotel, where they took up their residence, and here 
their friends came with their congratulations. 

As a bachelor, Mansfield had made his apartments 
down-town at the Croisic famous. They were now given 
up, and with them, for a time, passed those suppers sea- 
soned with the sprightliest wit of the day. One time or 
another nearly every one of distinction came to Mans- 
field's table. Among those who were found there with 
some degree of regularity were General Horace Porter, 
John A. Cockerill, W. J. Florence, George Munzig, Tom 
Ochiltree, John Stowe, John A. McCaull, Ballard Smith, 
and Colonel E. A. Buck. His old friend, Mr. Jordan, oc- 
casionally surprised him, as he had in London, by appear- 
ing without notice late at night at the close of the play. 

Three evenings before Mansfield's marriage he acted 
the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale in a dramatisation of 
Nathaniel Hawthorne's romance, "The Scarlet Letter," 
at Daly's Theatre. 1 This was the opening night of his 
season. The desire to act Dimmesdale was in kind with 
his effort to emancipate the theatre from the old list of 
heroic yet artificial, emotional but theatric, roles, which had 
for generations been the measure of an actor's greatness. 

Joseph Hatton's name appeared on the bill as the 



1 The play was acted with this cast: 
Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale 
Governor Bellingham 
Rev. John Wilson . 
Roger Chillingworth 
Captain Hiram Weeks 
Master Brackett, jailer 
Dame Hartley . 
Mistress Barlow 
Mary Willis . 
Little Pearl 
Hester Prynne . 



Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Mr. A. G. Andrews. 
Mr. D. H. Harkins. 
Mr. W. J. Ferguson. 
Mr. Chas. J. Burbridge. 
Mr. W. N. Griffith. 
Mrs. Julia Brutone. 
Miss Helen Glidden. 
Miss Eleanor Markillie. 
Miss de Grigea. 
Miss Beatrice Cameron. 



2 4 o RICHARD MANSFIELD [1892 

author, but before the play was produced it was so mate- 
rially changed from the form in which he had delivered 
it, that he would have been the first to relinquish claim 
to it. What happened was this. Mansfield's interest in 

'The Scarlet Letter" attached as firmly to Hawthorne's 
noble language as to the character and story, and 
he determined to have all of Hawthorne possible. Send- 
ing for two copies of the book, he ripped them to pieces, 
and following the general structure of Mr. Hatton's 
scenario, which was itself faithful to the novel and gave 
the only and inevitable sequence of the scenes, he made a 
play of Hawthorne's own text, cutting away superfluous 
diction to accelerate the action and increase the dramatic 
vitality of the speeches. This is the play as it was pro- 
duced. If it was any one's it was Nathaniel Hawthorne's. 
But though Mansfield did as well as could be done with 
the gray, cold, sad story, he did not succeed in making a 
strong play. But he framed an opportunity for a finer 
display of his art than any new role had given him since 

' Beau Brummell." 

"The Scarlet Letter," as interpreted by Mansfield, 
denoted the axiom that a sin concealed sears its own 
severest punishment in the soul, and a crime revealed is 
in a measure expiated. The interest in Hester was thus 
at once put to one side except as she is the complement 
of Dimmesdale's in his suffering. For, with her sin pro- 
claimed by the scarlet letter, her repentance is unclogged 
by hypocrisy. The mockery of Dimmesdale's preachments, 
the living lie of his silence in the presence of the woman 
branded for the sin he shared, became forces, in the 
heart of a man of such depths and sensitiveness as Mans- 
field gave him, which rocked his soul asunder. Again 
and anew he transported the spectator with his expression 



AN OFFER FROM DALY 241 

of the power of avenging conscience. It is not the 
privilege of the actor to teach a lesson more potent for 

good. 

It was a singularly difficult role, for the emotional effects 
were produced by unaided artistry. The story was drab 
and unsympathetic, and the play was almost without 
intrigue or cumulative incidents. Yet Dimmesdale's 
suffering awakened echoes in every spectator's heart. 

Of the more powerful passages, the one that will dwell 
longest in the memory of those who witnessed this per- 
formance, was that final picture of the young minister's 
reparation. Into the midst of Hester's revilers and his 
parishioners he came and dragged himself up on to the 
pillory of her shame and his silence. Retributive justice 
had eaten his vitality until it was the gaunt shadow of 
their minister who swayed above the crowd. While the 
last spark of life yet flickered, his wavering energy to the 
uttermost was devoted to the final expiation. He tore 
away the minister's band before his breast, disclosed what 
appeared to be the miracle of the scarlet letter seared in 
his own flesh and cried aloud his sin. As the crowd re- 
coiled, he stood alone exalted. His eyes danced as if 
dazzled with the light of a vision, the lips which had curled 
in bitterness now curled in an ecstatic smile, his arms 
reached up, his hands fluttered as if he were about to take 
wing and a deep soft sigh breathed out his soul to heaven. 

He acted Dimmesdale twenty-one times at Daly's, and 
these were the only appearances he ever made on this 
stage, though Mr. Daly had negotiated with him for a 
contemplated annual season at his house, and further 
tempted him with an offer to star him as Shylock at 
Daly's Theatre in London, with Ada Rehan as Portia. 
When he left this theatre "The Scarlet Letter" fell into 



242 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1892 

his repertoire. The tour was punctuated with pleasant 
incidents indicative of his growth in popular esteem, and 
his pecuniary profits were greater than he had hitherto 
enjoyed. Though he was not able to pay any part of his 
indebtedness, he met the interest, paid all current obli- 
gations punctually, and put aside something in anticipa- 
tion of his next production. 

During his autumn engagement in Chicago he appeared 
for the first time on the stage of the Grand Opera House, 
and in that city he never after acted in any other theatre. 
The Columbus Exposition buildings were dedicated dur- 
ing his second week, the city was entertaining distinguished 
visitors from every land, and he was nightly applauded by 
foreigners of nearly every nationality. 

Before reaching Washington in November, he received 
from President Harrison a note saying: "Mrs. Harrison 
and I are looking forward to your return. Our winter in 
the theatre is now divided into A.M. and P.M., ante-Mans- 
field and post-Mansfield." From their first meeting there 
sprang up between these men a friendship which flourished 
until the general's death. They were alike in an aloofness 
from casual approach which frequently gave unintentional 
offense and visited on them much hard criticism. They 
were two much misunderstood men who understood each 
other. Often, when Mr. Harrison came to New York, 
the evaded reporters might have found him in his friend's 
library. Mansfield was equal to a refreshing and inform- 
ing discussion on a wide variety of topics. The catho- 
licity of his taste, perceptions, and schemes was not more 
comprehensive of aesthetics than of topics political, legis- 
lative, and judicial. Nearly everything his mind touched 
yielded. 

This winter of 1892-1893, Mansfield acted in the South 



i8 93 ] THE ASCENDING SCALE 243 

for the first time, and under conditions which told of his 
increasing popularity. Mr. Greenwall, a Southern man- 
ager, offered him a guarantee of $48,000 for forty-eight 
appearances in the South! This was at the time the 
largest sum ever guaranteed an artist in this territory 
for a proportionate number of appearances. The re- 
ceipts bettered the bargain. At that time the standard 
price of seats for first-class attractions was one dollar and 
fifty cents. Two dollars was charged for Mansfield, a price 
not previously paid except for Booth and Irving. The 
public gave him a memorable welcome, and the trip added 
the fealty of the only unconquered strip of territory in 
the United States. 

When he returned to Chicago early in April 1893, his 
abstinence from Shakespearian efforts became the sub- 
ject of a spirited newspaper controversy. To an open 
letter from a Mr. G. McBride, he addressed this reply 
through the columns of the Inter-Ocean it contains his 
first call for an endowed theatre which he often repeated 
after, and is also interesting for its revelation of his whim- 
sical nature which gives the reasons why he should not 
act Shakespeare at a time when he was preparing an im- 
mediate incursion into that field, and flouts the scenic 
splendour which was one of his valued assets: 

MY DEAR SIR: You have done me the honour to 
address to me in noble and stirring language an exhorta- 
tion which might be briefly summarised by quoting the 
opening lines of Pope's Essay: 

Awake, my St. John, leave meaner things 
To low ambition and the pride of kings. 

You urge me, sir, to put aside such stage work as 
appeals to that public which asks for entertainment, and 



244 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1893 

entertainment only. You urge me to delve in the Shake- 
spearian drama, the classic, the poetic. You urge me to 
assume those Titanic and heroic characters which Shake- 
speare has created and with which the names of all the 
great actors of the past have been associated. You urge 
me to put upon one side the mere idea of gain and to 
devote myself to the higher realms only of dramatic art, 
and you finally assure me that in all this I shall have the 
support and approval of the people. 

Presuming that I felt myself able to cope successfully 
with what you graciously urge upon me, presuming I were 
by nature and by acquirement fitted to present in any 
degree satisfactorily the heroes of Shakespeare and the 
poetic and classical drama, I should, sir, need little 
urging to walk in a path overgrown as it is with the 
sweetest flowers and the fairest trophies of our art. But 
it has been decided by those who are set up upon the seats 
of judgment that this path is not for me. I have en- 
deavoured to present both the heroic and the tragic, and 
I have been led to believe that I am suited to neither. I 
am forced to accept the verdict of the critic and the public. 
The condemnation of my presentation of Nero, of Richard 
III, of Don Juan, of Dimmesdale, was upon the part of 
the New York critics almost unanimous, and since "no 
power (to paraphrase) can the giftie gie us to see our- 
selves as others see us," I am obliged to look into that 
mirror of words which is furnished me by the reviewers 
of dramatic art, and judge accordingly whether the picture 
I present be faithful and pleasing. 

So much then in reply to that wish, sir, of yours that I 
should assume the sock and buskin of the tragedian. 
Were I more conceited than I am (and I have been 
allowed no small amount of conceit by my censors), I 
should not speak as I do, but I have more inward quaver- 
ings and doubtings and more horrible fears and misgiv- 
ings and nervous spasms than occur to most men after 
fourteen years of campaigning, and I even now never 
face the footlights and the public without suffering an 
agony of fright. Forgive me for dwelling Upon my per- 




RICHARD MANSFIELD AS ARTHUR DIMMESDALE 



1893 ] AN OPEN LETTER 245 

sonal sufferings concerning which your open letter made 
no mention. And with regard to that letter, I may say 
here that it has proved a snowball started "in summis 
montibus," and which has generated a very avalanche of 
letters, reading which I am very grateful and very proud, 
and it is partly upon account of them that I go to the 
length of trespassing upon the columns of The Inter-Ocean. 
It would appear from them that there may be a place for 
me in the hearts of the people I know no prouder place- 
and that place, were it mine, I would not relinquish for a 
sceptre and a crown. Now I fancy this very place in the 
hearts of the people and in their minds and their mem- 
ories may be well held by other means than the presenta- 
tion upon the part of my associates and myself of the 
Shakespearian and classic drama only. Were it not well, 
since most of us labour long and late and have many 
thoughts of care and sorrow, were it not well to present 
such plays and create such characters as will divert and 
entertain ? You will tell me that Shakespeare does so, 
and I will tell you and millions will tell you that it requires 
in these late days (and think how far away we are from 
Shakespeare and his cronies!) much erudition to apprehend 
Shakespeare swiftly; and that is why he is better read and 
conned and studied and digested in the quiet hours of our 
home-life than in the tumultuous moments of an evening's 
gayety. This is of the many, of the people and without 
the patronage and approval of the people what enterprise 
can prosper ? 

It has been recently a fashion, not by any means in- 
augurated by living actors, to dress up and bedizen the 
works of Shakespeare and to make alluring by show and 
pageantry what would otherwise have no attraction for 
the ordinary playgoer. This has resulted beneficially in 
one direction, as it has tempted people to hear the words 
of Shakespeare; but how much do they hear and how 
much do they remember, and would they go to see him 
were he stripped of his brave attire ? 

And the harm it has done to art is incalculable. What 
master actor, the designer and creator of all this mimic 



246 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1893 

pomp, can steep his mind and soul in the poetry of the 
author, when his very life depends upon a calcium, when col- 
oured fires are flashing and whizzing, and vast machines are 
heaving scenes and toppling towers and vampire traps, and 
crowds of supers are crashing and crushing and blustering ? 

Concerning all this, I find a long-forgotten letter written 
by Hans Christian Andersen, in 1871. He had been to 
the Lyceum Theatre in London, and had seen Charles 
Kean in "The Tempest," and this is what he says: 

'The presentation lasted from 7 to 12.30 o'clock. 
Everything had been done that scenery and mise en scene 
could effect; and yet after seeing all we felt overwhelmed, 
weary, and empty. Shakespeare himself was sacrificed 
to the lust of the eye. Bold poetry became petrified into 
prosaic illustration. The living word evaporated and 
the nectarian food was forgotten in the golden dish in 
which it was served up. None of the actors appeared to 
me remarkable as dramatic artists. Kean declaimed in the 
style of a preacher, and his organ was not fine. I should 
more enjoy a representation of Shakespeare's in a wooden 
theatre than here, where the play was lost in the properties." 

Thus spake Hans Christian Andersen and I thoroughly 
agree with him. I should like the people to come and 
see acting for acting's sake acting pure and simple, and 
to judge an actor by his acting only that is what an actor 
is for. If I would, I could not, sir, present Shakespeare, 
for I have not $30,000 to spend upon a production, and 
nothing would satisfy you or me than to dress him up as 
well as other actors of our time have dressed him; and I 
am not sufficiently egotistical to suppose that you would 
come to see me merely act him or if, perchance, you did, 
how many of you, please, would there be? You remem- 
ber Austin Dobson's tribute to Burbage: 

'When Burbage played, the stage was bare 
Of fount and temple, tower and stair; 
Two backswords eked a battle out, 
Two supers made a rabble rout, 
The throne of Denmark was a chair/ 



i8 93 ] AN ENDOWED THEATRE 247 

Will you be satisfied with this ? Or if you, sir, and the 
likes of you, have confidence in me, will you furnish me 
with the means to present the Shakespearian and the 
classical drama ? Did you offer me these means, I should 
decline them. 

I am for the people and the time, and I am out hunting 
for the new and the original. Like Sir Ashley Merton, 
"I desire to create for myself!" I love, too, perhaps as 
much as you do, sir, Shakespeare's poetry, and there are 
hours when I love, too, to open the old oak chest and 
gather up the faded flowers of the past, and perhaps their 
faint perfume may awaken in my breast as many tender 
emotions and sacred memories. I, too, may laugh at 
the old-fashioned jest or shed a tear over the sorrows 
of some heart-blighted damozel but who cares at 8 
o'clock ? 

Let us compromise. All these kind letters, all these 
words of encouragement and praise, let them have a 
practical tread. You wealthy men who lose a million at 
the turn of a hand, who build palatial clubs, vast hotels, 
and what not else for the glory of the Nation, erect, too, a 
theatre and endow it nobly, and if you think me in any 
small way worthy, let us establish a National theatre to- 
gether, and when men come to us from abroad prating of 
their superior schools of art and their great artists, let the 
sign-boards point hitherward in triumph. Let us en- 
courage men here at home to write, let us have some 
Shakespeare of the nineteenth century. Is it impossible; 
is it beyond belief that genius can burn to-day ? Can 
no man write ? Let us no longer be traditional, but orig- 
inal; it is easier to copy than to create, and the tiniest 
original painting from Nature is by far greater than any 
imitation of another man's work. I am for wholesome, 
healthy, virile plays of character; I care not whether 
they be sombre, eccentric, quaint, or humorous, so that 
they be true and strong; and I am, too, for that 
which entertains and diverts and points a moral, and 
I should, moreover, desire to present, occasionally, plays 
that will please children, and I believe that in pleasing 



248 RICHARD MANSFIELD [i8 93 

them I shall be able to please their parents; and in all 
this and a great deal more I remain, sir, your and the 
public's obedient servant, 

RICHARD MANSFIELD. 



CHAPTER NINETEEN 

(1893-1894) 

Acts Shylock His performance of this role was a growth Accent 
Bold strokes He buys a New York home Nicknames. 

MANSFIELD'S ambition included everything except any 
other actor's mantle. He was determined to carve a 
niche of his very own. When it was a question of busi- 
ness policy, he would say: 'What are the others doing? 
Well, that we will not do." In the choice of a vehicle he 
had a positive aversion to trading on the popularity or 
success achieved for a play or a character by another. 
He sought the new paths, fresh types, original expression. 
Of the ten roles which he had created up to his time as 
master of his own choice, all represented pioneer delving 
and advanced dramatic interpretation, and all were new 
to the stage, excepting only King Richard III. His 
originality often confused the critics and confounded con- 
servatism, but his perseverance was telling. No one who 
wrote of Mansfield in 1893 but acknowledged the potent 
force of his personality, the lofty sincerity of his experi- 
ments, and his wide versatility. The belief was that he 
awaited only a role to mount the last interval between 
the high position which ten years on the American stage 
had won him and a position of preeminence. 

But no new role of essential greatness appeared. Per- 
haps the Chicago controversy, his own reply to the con- 
trary, indicated to him that public appreciation could not 

249 



2 5 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 



[1893 



measure except by comparisons, and that it did not recog- 
nise the quality of something just as good when different. 
In any case, choice for his next excursion fell on Shylock 
in Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice." It was an 
admirable selection. He was fully equipped for a com- 
plete embodiment of the character. The inevitable com- 
parisons with Booth and Irving rose up before him. He 
would have preferred fresh material, but he accepted the 
alternative. 

He produced "The Merchant of Venice," October 23, 
1893^ at Hermann's (afterward the Princess) Theatre, on 
the tiniest stage in New York. This was a mistake. 
Shylock is not a miniature. It is a role of grand passions 
and needs space and distance. Largeness was lacking in 
the picture and breadth was impossible in the action. 
So at once he had placed a barrier between his assump- 
tion and its effect. He made every effort to overcome 
these limitations. Every detail that would delight a 
chaste taste and charm the senses was in evidence. The 
furniture and draperies were selected from the Borgia and 
other palaces in Venice. Gustave Dannreuther's quar- 
tette, quite peerless in New York at the time, was aug- 



Mr. W. N. Griffith. 
Mr. David Torrence. 
Mr. Lorimer Stoddard. 
Mr. D. H. Harkins. 
Mr. Arthur Forrest. 
Mr. Norman Forbes. 
Mr. Wm. Bonney. 
Mr. J. W. Weaver. 
Mr. Aubrey Boucicault. 
Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Mr. Cecil Butler. 
Mr. A. G. Andrews. 
Mr. Griffith. 

Miss Rolinda Bainbridge. 
Miss Maude Venner. 
Miss Sydney Worth. 
Miss Alberta Gallatin. 
Miss Beatrice Cameron. 



1 The comedy was acted with this cast: 
The Duke of Venice 


The Prince of Morocco 






The Prince of Aragon 
Antonio, the merchant of 
Bassanio 


Veni 


:e 


Gratiano 












Salanio 












Salarino 












Lorenzo 












Shylock 
Tubal 












Launcelot 


Gob 


DO 








Old Gobbo 










Balthasar 












Stephano 
Jessica 
Nerissa 












Portia 


1 











SHYLOCK 251 

merited by string soloists, and played the Venetian obli- 
gates composed by Arthur Mees. The scene was viewed 
through a frame of flowers and foliage which reproduced 
the effect of the miniature improvised theatre at court 
performances at Windsor Castle. The programme con- 
tained this note: 

'The song in the second act was first rendered at 
Derby School, Speech Day, 1869, when 'The Merchant 
of Venice' was presented in the presence of Dr. Selwyn, 
Bishop of Lichfield, and under the direction of the late 
beloved Head-Master, Walter Clark, B.D." 1 He re- 
peatedly referred to his regret that his old master had not 
lived to see his second appearance as the Jew. 

The only important Shylock which Mansfield ever saw 
was that of the venerable Samuel Phelps, who acted it at 
Derby while he was a scholar there and on the same stage 
where twenty years afterward he acted twice for the 
benefit of the Racquet Court Fund. It left no deep im- 
pression, but in any event he would not have followed any 
other model than his own inspiration. One never knew 
Mansfield's performances by heart before seeing them. 

From the first Shylock was accredited one of his most 
celebrated roles, though it did not at once receive the 
recognition which would advance him as he hoped. It 
left a stretch ahead in his climb. 

Of all his characters Shylock was more essentially a 
growth than any other. It was received from the first 
night with recognition of the poetic tenderness of his 
domestic passages and the resonant vitality of his por- 
trayal of the patriarchal money-lender, but he developed 

1 Mr. Mansfield's memory betrayed him on the point of the performances at 
Derby twenty-four years before. The Bishop of Litchfield presided in 1869. 
The performance of " The Merchant of Venice " in 1870 was presided over by 
Sir Henry Wilmot. 



252 RICHARD MANSFIELD [i8 93 

the character year after year until it became in its latest 
performances very nearly the finest expression of his 
artistic potentiality. 

Beau Brummell, King Richard, Arthur Dimmesdale, 
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and other roles he never changed. 
It was remarkable what spontaneity he gave to perform- 
ances which never varied by a hair's breadth. Mr. 
Palmer, watching the Baron Chevrial, just nineteen years 
after his own production of "A Parisian Romance," ex- 
claimed : ' He plays it as if it were the first night. There 
is the same freshness and intensity. Yet he has not 
changed by a syllable, an inflection, or a glance." 

He acted Shylock from every conceivable point of view, 
but the final expression was the conception of the new 
civilisation which looked upon the Jew with Christian 
catholicity, a fellow-creature, no longer fair game for bait- 
ing and bigotry. Mansfield left his analysis of the play, 
in which he said: 



Shylock is really the only natural person in most un- 
natural surroundings. The play itself, if written to-day, 
would be either instantly condemned or put down as a 
farcical comedy. The noble Antonio the good Antonio 
-the esteemed merchant Prince, cannot find anybody to 
lend him three thousand ducats, but the man he ever- 
lastingly abused, kicked, and spat upon. Bassanio is 
confessedly a fortune-hunter, Gratiano a lick-spittle and 
time server, Lorenzo is a thief or particeps criminis, 
Jessica is unspeakable, and the Duke condemns Shylock 
in open court before the trial. It is difficult for a sincere 
actor to play Shylock according to modern requirements 
with sincerity. I should like some day, just for fun, to put 
Shylock and the whole interpretation of the play back where 
it belongs in the realm of poetic farce. . . . However, 
when all is said, to-day Shylock must either be a monu- 




RICHARD MANSFIELD AS SHYLOCK 

From a photograph, copyright, iSo; t>y J. M. Hart c Co. 



i8 93 ] ACCENT IN CHARACTERISATION 253 

mental type of the hating and revengeful and much- 
abused Jew or a joke. Anything else is begging the 
question. This does not preclude his loving his daughter 
and his home his being a fanatic, almost, in his religion 
and in his faith in the justice of his cause or of his winning 
some sympathy by departing from the court-room, when 
everything is taken from him, with his last and only hope 
i. e., to place his grievance at the feet of his Creator. 

This is what he made his Shylock the embodiment of 
malignant, implacable hatred based on the endurance of 
a lifetime of contempt and revilement and on the outrages 
finally done a deeply religious nature by the procuring of 
his daughter's apostasy. No Christian ever hated Jew 
as this Jew hated Christian. The paternity behind his 
religious fanaticism gave him a gentle patriarchal dignity, 
for tenderness marked every encounter with the faithless 
Jessica, but it did not conceal a superior contempt for 
Antonio and his friends. 

In appearance he was venerable, his head of heavy hair 
and his full long beard were slightly shot with gray. 
Though his gait was sometimes feeble he disclosed the 
hardy vitality of body and mind which bless the maturity 
of frugal, orderly, temperate living. The racial dis- 
tinction between Shylock and all about him was marked 
by a slight accent, scarcely perceptible except in broaden- 
ing the "i" into "ee," as "preenceeple" for principle, 
"Chreestian" for Christian, and similar words. 

The quiet passages of Shylock's endurance, both early 
in the acceptance of the bond and later in the cold con- 
sciousness of his advantage, were vitalised with excep- 
tional physical and nervous force. 

Three times he loosed his passions At first in a sigh of 
heart-bleeding agony as he rushed from his ravished house, 



254 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1893 

after the discovery of his daughter's flight, and fell over- 
whelmed with misery, among the fantastics as they rol- 
licked away in the pitiless gloom again, in the vengeance 
scene, when with the snug-fitting bonnet snatched away, 
he disclosed a lion-maned, lion-mettled figure of exalted 
revenge and his noble organ spilled his hatred and wrath 
with chaotic volubility, for a last time in the trial scene 
when Portia culminates her interpretation of the bond with: 

'You must cut this flesh from off his breast." 

And Shylock, his lust for revenge stimulated to the utter- 
most, breaks forth in a mad rush to plunge his knife in 
Antonio's breast but is stayed, amazed, and transfixed, 
by the doctor's clarion call "Tarry awhile; there is some- 
thing else!" All else was graphic illumination by diver- 
sified detail. 

James O'Donnell Bennett noted these the last time he 
saw Mansfield act this role and wrote: "One result of 
this detailed examination of the role of Shylock by Mr. 
Mansfield is a display of minute, but in their aggregate, 
very eloquent and illuminating differentiation in the act- 
ing of it. It is this phase of his art that makes that art 
so stimulating and suggestive. He seems to comment, to 
explain, and to criticise by means of beautiful sidelights 
while he acts and it seems to one who has followed his 
work attentively for more than a dozen years that he does 
all these things more authoritatively and with more of a 
scholar's as well as an artist's love with the passing of every 
year. The marvel is that he can achieve this infinity of 
detail without becoming finicky. He will act no part in 
one key yet he is not distracting. There is always the 
dominant note, but a multitude of delicate minors, now 
soft and sensuous, now thin and piercing, accompany it." 



ORIGINAL STROKES 255 

One of the bold and imaginative touches, with which he 
embroidered the part, marked his answer, in the trial 
scene, to Portia's mocking plea. 

Portia : Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your charge 
To stop his wounds, lest he do bleed to death. 

Shylock: Is it so nominated in the bond ? 

Portia: It is not so expressed; but what of that? 
'Twere good you do so much for charity. 

Most interpreters of the part there glanced over the 
paper and flung it back contemptuously before replying: 
"I cannot find it, 'tis not in the bond." Not so Mans- 
field's Shylock. There was no dram of pity, no under- 
standing of pity in his inflexible revenge, and he did not 
understand it in the young doctor before him. His alert 
perception suspected the trick that was being played 
upon him. Advancing to the desk he seized the bond, 
but there was no question of its terms in his heart. By 
long conning he knew every word. The man before him 
was the enigma. His hand tremblingly searched the 
crackling parchment but his gaze never faltered in its 
piercing search of the depths behind the soft eyes of the 
young doctor. The slow, heavy, resentful, affirmative tone 
of his reply "It is not in the bond," in no way con- 
tradicted the eloquent attitude and action of baffled uncer- 
titude and pitiable inquiry. 

Every appearance this last fortnight in New York was 
devoted to Shylock. The tour during the winter of 
1893-1894 covered the familiar Northern and Eastern 
cities with a dip to quaint old New Orleans in February. 
He acted Shylock, Dimmesdale, Chevrial, Dr. Jekyll 
and Mr. Hyde, and Brummell. With the profits he now 
realised two of his life-long dreams. 



256 RICHARD MANSFIELD [i8 94 

The last home he had known was the house in Finchley 
Road, London, to which he came on occasional visits 
from school. In spite of an inborn home-lust and a 
genius for hospitality his life for twenty years had been 
spent amid the artificial comforts of apartments and 
hotels. 

One spring day in the year 1894 he took Mrs. Mansfield 
to the house at 104 West Eightieth Street. When he had 
led her from room to room, exquisitely furnished with his 
winnowings from shops all over the land, and feasted on 
her exclamations of pleasure, he slipped into her hand a 
folded paper which was her title to their first home. 
Here they remained until 1898 when he succumbed to a 
haunting desire to see the water from his windows. 
Moreover his family and his position demanded a larger 
residence. They bought and moved to 316 Riverside 
Drive and this was his town house the remainder of his life. 

His other indulgence this spring of 1894 was the 
possession of a yacht. When the humid days of July 
drove them from the city, he sailed from Groton under 
his own pennant. Ferguson had built the boat for him 
and after his beloved consort he named it "Her Royal 
Highness," in playful allusion to "His Royal," the nick- 
name by which his associates in his company called him. 

This was his first nickname since the days of "Cork" 
Mansfield at Derby. In later years he was often called 
'The Chief," but first and last his most popular nick- 
name was 'Father." This, presumably, originated in 
his habit of referring to his company as " My little family 
of players." 

He once delivered himself on his attitude toward his 
company in a brief lecture to an intruder loitering on the 
stage during a rehearsal. 'Do you not know," he 



is 94 ] DISCIPLINE 257 

exclaimed "that a rehearsal is sacred and private as the 
home? We are a huge family. These are my brothers 
and sisters, and my children. There are many trying 
moments in family life not intended for the public eye. 
Discipline is necessary, it promotes good. It is often as 
painful for him who administers it as for him who receives 
it. A parent heaps reproaches and punishment on his 
children in private and without malice, which he would 
not dream of visiting on them in public, and would be 
the first to resent when coming from another." 

When the later productions expanded his company, 
often beyond the hundred mark, the necessity for disci- 
pline sent the family spirit into eclipse, and his nervous 
impatience touched the match to that train of gossip 
about his autocratic bearing in the theatre. He was born 
with as delicate a set of nerves as was ever put under 
human skin, and when, after every effort and expense on 
his own part, carelessness or stupidity marred and often 
ruined his undertaking, he met the situation in no soft 
mood. His passions fairly rode the gale and the tempest 
was memorable while it lasted. 

These tempers were an illness and left him quite 
dispirited. One night, the last time he ever acted in 
Pittsburg, he broke down after the long monologue which 
constitutes the last act of :< Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," 
because he fancied everything had been spoiled by care- 
less stage management, but after his temper he crept to 
his dressing-room and sat in silent distress until 2 o'clock 
in the morning, before he summoned his dresser. Anger 
came from sore nerves, not from the heart. It was from 
the lips out. He cherished no animosity. 



CHAPTER TWENTY 

(1894-1895) 

Where the acted plays come from "Arms and the Man" "The 
Emperor Napoleon" Letters from Bernard Shaw English 
appreciation of Mansfield Impediments to his return to act in 
London. 

MR. PALMER said that during his experience as a man- 
ager, which extended over a period of more than thirty 
years, never had an unknown author sent him a play 
which he could produce. He retained a literary and 
dramatic technician to read the manuscripts which 
poured in at the rate of three and four a day. This 
reader then passed up promising plays for Mr. Palmer's 
judgment, but not one of them ever appealed to him with 
conviction. In rare instances, however, they led to an 
acquaintance with the writer who later gave forth a play 
which could be acted. The rule in Mr. Palmer's experi- 
ence was, however, invariable. No actable play came 
from an unknown source but always from a subject sug- 
gested and talked over in advance and nursed in its prog- 
ress, or else from an established dramatist. 

This has been the experience of nearly every manager 
and actor-manager. There doubtless have been excep- 
tions down the list of plays written, but if there are they 
would seem to prove the rule. It certainly had been 
Mansfield's experience up to this time. He and his asso- 

258 



"ARMS AND THE MAN' 259 

ciates had read hundreds of plays. None were actable. 
He wrote, suggested, or assisted in the development of 
every new play which he produced. 

His life long, he rarely knew in the spring, or admitted 
that he knew, what he would act in the fall. He some- 
times announced plays in his possession to feel the public 
pulse but he rarely committed himself to an immu- 
table decision. He spent his summers with a hopeful 
eye open for a new play, bigger and better than anything 
in hand, and his sails spread to avail himself of any 
breath of good fortune from an unsuspected quarter. 

He was adrift on a sea of doubts this spring of 1894 
when there came to him the manuscript of "Arms and 
the Man," a comedy in three acts by George Bernard 
Shaw. The author's name conveyed nothing to him. 
One reading, however, convinced him that here was the 
exception to the rule of Mr. Palmer's experience. The 
mail-tide had washed in a treasure. He passed the 
manuscript to those at his elbow. They winced. He 
had better not trifle with his public, they urged, with this 
dangerous satire on sacred conventions and holy emotions. 
Mrs. Mansfield alone exhibited the liberated spirit, but 
she had bathed her perceptions in the refreshing waters 
of Ibsen. She was fascinated with the new comedy. 

Mansfield enjoyed waving the red rag before the pub- 
lic and accepted the others' criticism as an endorsement. 
Being somewhat of an iconoclast, he relished the prospect 
of exposing humbug and denuding sham. The simple 
production occasioned no embarrassment to him after 
the fortunes spent on the pictorial intricacies of preceding 
plays, and any actor above mediocrity could have played 
Captain Bluntschli. Mansfield always preferred and 
sought the character which challenges his resources. 



i6o 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 



[1894 



But he decided that here was a light, facile comedy with 
an exhilarating new point of view which should tickle the 
public while it provided a marked contrast to any other 
play in his repertoire. 

He began to inquire about George Bernard Shaw and 
his play. At that time the Irishman was a small speck 
on the horizon. He was known in London socialistic 
circles as a cart-end haranguer and the writer of several 
inconsequential novels which filled space in an obscure 
socialistic paper. He had written some criticisms on art, 
music, and drama not yet the brilliant series for the 
Saturday Review. The New Theatre a "movement" 
not architecturally concrete had in 1892 acted a play of 
his, 'Widowers' Houses." It did not achieve a success 
but it provoked some local discussion. 

Shaw had sent "Arms and the Man" to Mansfield 
because he was encouraged by the action of the new or 
Independent Theatre in putting this comedy in re- 
hearsal. It was acted later in London on the 2 1st of 
April, and by discontinuing the performances on July 7, 
the management spared themselves a loss of more than 
$25,000. 

These facts did not discourage Mansfield. He expected 
his rewards in the satisfaction of presenting an intellectual 
comedy essentially unique and in the gratitude of that por- 
tion of his clientele, which thought and applauded origi- 
nality. He produced "Arms and the Man" first Sep- 
tember 17, 1894.* This was the opening night of the 



1 The cast was: 

Major Paul Petkoff 

Nicola 

Major Sergius Saranoff 

Captain Bluntschli 

Catherine Petkoff 

Louka 

Raina 



Mr. Harry Pitt. 
Mr. Walden Ramsey. 
Mr. Henry Jewett. 
Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Mrs. McKee Rankin. 
Miss Amy Busby. 
Miss Beatrice Cameron. 




RICHARD MANSFIELD AS CAPTAIN BLUNTSCHLI IN "ARMS 

AND THE MAN" 
From a photograph by the Baker Art Gallery, Columbus. O. 



GENERALSHIP 261 

Herald Square Theatre, which was the Park Theatre 
renovated and renamed. 

The result presented another of those anomalies which 
continually punctuate experience and harass judgment in 
the theatre. There was a storm of critical praise for the 
comedy and the acting. The audiences roared at Shaw's 
waggery and applauded the players. Here was unanimity 
for once. The result ? Discussion, praise, and a repeti- 
tion of London losses whenever the play was acted. The 
losses were not quite so heavy, perhaps, because in the 
British capital the comedy attracted or rather did not 
attract on its own merits, in New York a large percentage 
of the larger audiences came to see Mansfield. 

He tried "Arms and the Man" for three weeks and to 
forestall financial collapse revived his repertoire and began 
rehearsals of Lorimer Stoddard's play on Napoleon 
Bonaparte. 

Napoleon had possessed a fascination for him from his 
boyhood. He believed in his own destiny. Generalship 
was his attitude toward his career. Absolutism marked 
his bearing always in the theatre. There was an echo of 
'There is your throne, I am the empire," all through his 
life. 

His own personality was in many aspects feudal, he was 
in complete sympathy with the monarchical system which 
he once advocated for America in reply to an inquiry 
from the New York Herald, thereby arousing much less 
denunciation than discussion, and he had the faculty and 
exercised it when he chose of transforming his environ- 
ment into a court of which he was " His Royal." It 
was the Kingship of the stage that he kept always before 
him. Preeminence was the only prize. He had shrewd 
notions of the effect on the public mind of presenting him- 



262 RICHARD MANSFIELD [r8 94 

self as often as possible in royal guise. "The American 
people dearly love a King," he said. "They haven't real 
royalty here, and as only a minority can go King-seeing 
abroad, they love to watch mimic Kings in the theatre." 
But, above all other impulses to act Napoleon, was his 
rare genius for acting men of distinction and power 
with absolute identification. It was the enigma of 
all who saw him. Where did he learn it ? Acting 
ceased when he put on the crown. A King stood on the 
throne. 

This was the stamp on his Napoleon. For three hours 
the audience saw the little Corsican himself. They not 
only saw him, they felt his tremendous power. The 
soul set against itself vibrated before them. But the 
audience cried "Here is the Emperor, where is the 
play?" 

There was none. His friend, Lorimer Stoddard, the 
gifted son of Richard Henry and Elisabeth Drew Stod- 
dard, in this instance simply rose to the failure of every 
other dramatist who has attempted to make Napoleon 
the central figure in a drama. 

Though Mansfield had the warmest appreciation of the 
historical value of the work and its literary charm and 
advised Stoddard to publish it, they both recognised the 
piece's limitations while they believed that it disclosed a 
series of detached historical pictures which would be of 
vast interest. The enterprise was put forward modestly 
on the last night of Mansfield's stay at the Herald Square 
Theatre, October 27, 1894 in these terms: 

"An entertainment consisting of a Full-Dress Rehearsal 
or Reading of 'Napoleon Bonaparte,' a play in five acts 
by Lorimer Stoddard, Esquire." 

This was set out on pieces of brown paper distributed 



i8 9 4] 



NAPOLEON 



263 



to the audience in lieu of formal programmes ' and a 
digest of the acts followed : 

The First Act describes half an hour in the tent of the 
Emperor Napoleon at Tilsit. 

The Second Act, after the Emperor's return from Mos- 
cow, deals with the treachery of his followers and his fall 
from power, and the incidents are made to occur in the 
throne-room at Fontainebleau. 

The Third Act relates certain eventson the Island of Elba. 

The Fourth Act is divided into two scenes: The first 
scene is at night before Waterloo, and the second scene, 
which, owing to the length of the play, is this evening 
omitted, consists of a dialogue between peasants recount- 
ing the loss of the battle of Waterloo, and reveals Napoleon 
and his generals on their horses. 

The Fifth Act is placed at Longwood on the Island of 
St. Helena. 

Whenever he acted Napoleon thereafter the play was 
called "Scenes and Incidents from the Life of the 



1 No cast was published the first night but 
tributed thus: 

Napoleon Bonaparte 

Marchaud, his valet 

The King of Rome . 

Emperor Alexander of Russia 

Frederick, King of Prussia 

Prince Talleyrand 

Gobain, a corporal 

General Le Febre 

General Ney . 

General Bethier 

General Oudinot 

Sir Hudson Lowe 

Fourney . 

Queen Louisa of Prussia . 

Countess Marie Valenska 

Josephine, first wife of Napoleon 

Marie Louise, Empress of France 

Queen Hortense 

Mme. Montesquiou 

Mme. de Bonballe 

Mme. Berthier 

Mme. Oudinot 

Mme. Ney 



the characters and actors were dis- 

Richard Mansfield. 
A. G. Andrews. 
Dot Clarendon. 
J. V. Serrano. 
William Harcourt 
D. H. Harkins. 
W. N. Griffith. 
J. W. T. Weaver. 
Addison Pitt. 
F. F. Smiles. 
T. F. Graham. 
C. J. Burbridge. 
F. Finch. 

Beatrice Cameron. 
Katherine Grey. 
Helen Glidden. 
Norah Lamison. 
Ethel Chase Sprague. 
Alice Leigh. 
Mrs. McKee Rankin. 
Angela McCaull. 
Rolinda Bainbridge. 
Winifred McCaull. 



264 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1894 

Emperor Napoleon." But his personal triumph was 
great and the characterisation was recognized as one 
which would advance him leagues in universal estimation. 
Produced ten years later, when he was in the full enjoy- 
ment of his authority with the public, Napoleon would 
have commanded crowded houses for a long period. 
This is what Bernard Shaw said of the Napoleon of his 
own play in a letter (September 8, 1897) to Mansfield: 

I was much hurt by your contemptuous refusal of "A 
Man of Destiny," not because I think it one of my master- 
pieces, but because Napoleon is nobody else but Richard 
Mansfield himself. I studied the character from you, and 
then read up Napoleon and found that I had got him 
exactly right. 

The subsequent tour was highly prosperous. "Arms 
and the Man" was the weak night of every week, but 
Mansfield continued it because he believed its perform- 
ance would awaken intelligence and advance taste. 
When reserved for a limited number of performances, 
'The Emperor Napoleon" packed the theatre as surely 
as the other plays in the repertoire. 

Shaw wrote him characteristically at this time: 

Of course it ["Arms and the Man"] doesn't draw; 
whoever supposed it would ? It has produced reputation, 
discussion, advertisement; it has brought me enough 
money to live for six months, during which I will write 
two more plays. So take it off in the peaceful conviction 
that you have treated it very handsomely and that the 
author is more than satisfied. . . . Judging by the 
reception of "Arms and the Man," I cannot doubt that 
if you were to play 'The Philanderer," you would be 
lynched at the end of the first act. It exudes brimstone 
at every pore. ... I should like very much to see you 




RICHARD MANSFIELD AS NAPOLEON BONAPARTE 

From a photograph by the Baker Art Gallery, Columbus, O. 



i894] LONDON'S APPRECIATION 265 

as Bluntschli. If you will come to London I will even 
go so far as to sit out "Arms and the Man" to see you. 

There were, indeed, constant inquiries why he did not 
return to act in London, but Mansfield replied that he 
had not been successful there. A truer indication of the 
London sentiment is conveyed in this passage from a 
letter from Norman Forbes, written to him at this time: 

I have just received your long and interesting letter 
that you have so poor an opinion of the way London 
treated you when you produced, so beautifully, "King 
Richard III" at the Globe Theatre. I must, however, 
differ from you somewhat on this point. It is impossible 
for any man who has achieved the success you have in 
your art to do so without making enemies. Believe me, 
you are as much admired in England as in America. 1 
don't mean, of course, that you have so large a following, 
but the best people in London, those whose opinions carry 
weight and influence, and are therefore worth listening to, 
have over and over again proclaimed your great ability. 
I was dining with Alfred Gilbert, R.A., the other day. 
His praise of you could not have been more enthusiastic. 
Surely his opinion bears out what I say, coming as it does 
from one of England's greatest living sculptors. 

This was true, and when Mansfield died, the British 
press acknowledged the "loss to the whole English-speak- 
ing stage" in the same terms as the American press. 

Perhaps a truer indication of Mansfield's sentiment 
about remaining away from London is found among his 
papers in his own endorsement on a letter from Sir Francis 
Knollys, Secretary to the Prince of Wales, at whose sug- 
gestion the manuscript of 'Beau Brummell" was sub- 
mitted to the English Examiner of Plays when Mansfield 
thought of returning to London to act. 



266 RICHARD MANSFIELD [iS 9S 

Mansfield's endorsement reads: 'H. R. H. finally 
decided that he would prefer that I did not present 'Beau 
BrummelP in England and I returned to America espe- 
cially that during my absence Henry Irving had secured 
all acting rights to 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' with 
which I might have hoped for renewed success. R. M." 

How and when and where the tour terminated this 
winter of 1894-1895 must be reserved for a separate 
chapter which will disclose the unsuspected culmination 
of years of aspiration, with renewed evidence of the 
quality of his energy and ambition. 



CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE 

(1895) 

Becomes the manager of a New York theatre, The Garrick " The 
King of Peru" A chase in the park and its result Mansfield 
"presents" the Hollands "Thrilby" 111 with typhoid fever- 
An interview with Joseph Jefferson and an afternoon on a 
Staten Island ferry-boat " The Story of Rodion, the Student" 
Mansfield on his roles Gives up the Garrick. 

EVERY great actor has counted among his aspirations 
the burning desire to own and direct his own theatre. It 
is one of the diseases to which actor-flesh is heir. There 
is only one cure. That is the experience. Mansfield 
was no exception. 

From the time he first set out on his climb he did not 
distinguish between the safety lights which indicated 
secure footing, and this will-o'-the-wisp, and it wooed 
him through the bogs of direst distress before he again 
felt solid ground under his feet. Being the rare combina- 
tion of a dreamer and a man of tremendous activity, the 
experiment of directing his own theatre was inevitable 
and he insisted on an independent opportunity to realise 
his ideals. 

He could have better spared any year in his career than 
this one. He had accomplished much with Shylock, 
Bluntschli, and Napoleon. With temperate progress he 
could have retained his health. With tempered enthu- 

267 



2 68 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1895 

siasm for a plan, for which he was ill prepared, he would 
not have added to the mill-stone of debt which for five 
years had been hanging about his neck. But where 
artistic profit was to be gained, health and wealth were 
the last consideration. The year 1895 was ever after a 
nightmare. 

In March he secured the lease of Harrigan's Theatre. 
The negotiations were conducted by his manager, Mr. 
Slocum, and to him Mansfield confided the execution of 
his plans for remodelling the house. He continued his 
tour to find grist for the mill, availing himself of engage- 
ments in the neighbourhood of New York to slip into 
town, and oversee the progress of his plans. He had 
little money and expressed his situation in the postscript 
of a letter to his manager: 'Keep a tight hand on the 
tiller, this is stormy weather." 

Whatever else may remain unchanged about a theatre 
it always takes on a new identity with a new name. 
Scores were suggested. Dozens were considered. His 
friends, led by William Winter and E. A. Dithmar, in- 
sisted that it be called "The Mansfield." But that name 
he would not hear to either then or later when capitalists 
made it a condition of theatres they wished to build for 
him. In the end he decided, as he inevitably did, by 
his own instincts. 

Among all the actors who ever lived, David Garrick 
was his delight, pride, and ideal. He represented all 
that Mansfield desired to attain. He had been a social 
success, he wrote charmingly, he managed his own 
theatre, he acted farce and tragedy with equal facility, 
he was bound to no traditions, he rose from obscurity 
to preeminence by force of his own versatile genius and 
in spite of the detraction of enemies. It pleased Mans- 



i3 95 ] THE GARRICK THEATRE 269 

field whenever he was, as he was often later, called "the 
modern Garrick." He believed good fortune would come 
to a house named after the Georgian actor, and it was 
natural that the only theatre he ever owned was dedicated 
to little Davy. 

Mansfield had brave plans for the Garrick. It was his 
intention to act there every autumn until Christmas. 
Then a pantomime would be put on for the holidays and 
late in the winter the Garrick Theatre Company would 
take the stage to present new comedies and old for the 
balance of the season. 

It is vain for any man to plan the routine of a theatre. 
There is only one dictator in these matters. It is the 
expediency of the moment. 

However, Mansfield attacked the situation with his 
customary earnestness and force. The Garrick yielded 
to his impeccable taste and became a veritable little tem- 
ple of beauty. His idea of a theatre was that it should 
be a gallery in which are hung two pictures one made 
by the actors through the proscenium, the other by the 
audience. These are displayed at alternating intervals. 
While the curtain is up the audience becomes invisible in 
darkness. When the stage is invisible behind the curtain 
discreet lighting displays the picture of the audience. 
There should be nothing to distract the eye from these. 
He had a rare sense of colours that helped or killed the 
dressing and features of fair women. All should be back- 
ground. The walls, ceilings, carpets, chairs were com- 
posed in negative colours Pompeian red, bronze, and 
black. The stairways were lined with his collection of 
Hogarth prints. Ices and tea were served in a fernery 
where a fountain rose in a marble basin. Patrons of the 
gallery found chairs upholstered identically as in the 



2JO 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 



[1895 



orchestra below. The actors were not forgotten. Their 
dressing-rooms had superior fittings and they rested, 
between scenes, in a charming green-room. An invisible 
orchestra of strings played chamber classics. 

The Garrick Theatre was thrown open to the public 
under Richard Mansfield's management on April 23, 1895. 
It was dedicated 'To the young people of New York." 
The inaugural commanded the intelligence and fashion of 
the town. His reception was very warm. As an expres- 
sion of what a play-house should be the Garrick was a 
triumph, but as an institution only its future could 
define it. 

The dedicating play was "Arms and The Man." He 
played Napoleon, Beau Brummell, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. 
Hyde, Baron Chevrial, Prince Karl, and Arthur Dimmes- 
dale until May 7, when he acted Don Pedro XIV in 
Louis N. Parker's comedy, "The King of Peru" for the 
first time. 1 

This was the story of a scheming Queen-mother and her 
sycophants to restore her deposed son to the throne of 
Peru. The action took place in and near London. The 
boy learned, however, that the price of his throne was the 
fortune of his unsuspicious non-royal wife and he would 
not pay it. Moreover he learned that there were other 



1 The cast was: 

Don Pedro XIV, King of Peru 

Pandolfo, ex-King of Sardinia . 

Don Miguel de Santa Rosa y Paruro 

Marchese di Castelverano 

Chevalier Moffat 

One-Eyed Sammy . 

Benito 

Footman . 

Donna Pia, Queen-Dowager of Peru 

Clara Desmond 

Princess Zea of Santorin 

Mrs. Wallis . 

Mary 



Mr. Mansfield. 

Mr. Andrews. 

Mr. Harkins. 

Mr. Lyons. 

Mr. Jewett. 

Mr. Griffith. 

Mr. Weaver. 

Mr. Chandler. 

Miss Eustace. 

Miss Cameron. 

Miss Grey. 

Mrs. McKee Rankin. 

Miss Lamison. 



1895] THE KING OF PERU' 271 

more alluring occupations in life than 'Kinging" and 
abandoned the whole group of adventurers and their 
schemes, for a more congenial, if less royal career. The 
story was not bad. But it was overlaid with rusty irony 
and tedious didactics which cloyed the action to a stand- 
still. No action, no play. It was in fact the most com- 
plete failure Mansfield ever experienced. He accepted 
the verdict of the first night and acted 'The King of 
Peru" only seven times, but he entertained his own 
reason for his inability to swing the play to some kind 
of success, and the story he told many years after 
was this: 

"I have always made it a custom not to go to the 
theatre before evening on the day I am to act a new role 
for the first time. I try to forget the play, the character, 
the theatre. I walk and drive, but naturally I refrain 
from any physical intemperance. In this way I go to 
the theatre refreshed. 

"The day I was to act Don Pedro, I took my usual 
afternoon stroll in Central Park. I took along a little 
dog which belonged to Mrs. Mansfield, a pet to which 
both of us were devoted. Suddenly I discovered the dog 
had slipped his leash and was running away. I ran in 
pursuit. I do not know how far I ran but I was soon 
exhausted and in a perspiration. A cab took me home 
but on the way I had a chill. My nerves gave way and I 
was a wreck. 

"I should not have acted that night, but my promise was 
given and an audience was waiting. After all, nervous- 
ness passes off. My performance must have been 
wretched, for I did not know what I was doing. Every 
moment I feared collapse. Somehow I got through and 
they took me home. I felt that nothing the critics could 



272 RICHARD MANSFIELD [iS 95 

say could make me more wretched than I was as we 
rolled away in the night." 

He acted for three weeks, closing his season June i, 
meantime taxing himself with the rehearsals of a new 
musical burlesque; but it would have been wiser if he 
had not forced himself to keep his engagement. The col- 
lapse after the chase in the Park was in reality the warn- 
ing of a resentful constitution, the harbinger of an illness 
which upset his plans, cost him another fortune, and 
nearly took his life. 

The town was at this time aglow with enthusiasm over 
Paul Potter's dramatisation of George Du Maurier's 
'Trilby." It was acted first at the Garden Theatre on 
April 15. The novel had attained phenomenal success. 
Mansfield believed a burlesque of "Trilby" would make 
an alluring musical evening and had one prepared. It 
was the devising of Joseph Herbert and Charles Puerner, 
and was produced June 3, and appeared to be good 
enough warm-weather nonsense. The characters were 
all nicknamed; Trilby yielding to the thrill of an "h," the 
title becoming 'Thrilby." Profitable it was not. A 
new version was presented with no acceleration in public 
interest. 

The first season of the Garrick closed July 13, a heavy 
loss to date. Mansfield went to Newport in hopes of 
shaking off the physical and nervous depression under 
which he struggled, but came back to New York in the 
middle of the summer in complete collapse. Typhoid 
fever had seized him. For nearly three months he 
hovered between life and death. 

While he was still on his feet, the June previous, he 
had arranged to star E. M. and Joseph Holland in light 
comedies. He had two plays for them, and from his sick 



i8 95 ] MANSFIELD 'PRESENTS' 3 273 

bed he directed the organisation of their company. The 
name Richard Mansfield had its commercial value and he 
was disposed to have the new venture profit by his asso- 
ciation with it. With this in view he hit upon the phrase, 
"Richard Mansfield presents E. M. and Joseph Holland 
in" etc. This was the first managerial use of the later 
familiar term, "Presents.'* 

The Messrs. Holland opened the new season at the 
Garrick, September 2, in 'The Man with a Past," a 
comedy by Harry and Edward Paulton. It ran for a 
fortnight, and on September 24 they were presented in 
"A Social Highwayman," a delightful melodramatic 
comedy which Mary A. Stone had made from Elisabeth 
Phipps Train's novelette. The performance was admi- 
rable. The hearing was respectful and there were hopes 
for the tour, but these hopes were never realised. The 
venture only piled up debts for Mansfield. 

In the early fall his fever receded and he got on his 
feet again to face the problem of the Garrick. 

"Trilby" still crowded the Garden Theatre and gave 
promise of an idefinite run. Mansfield learned that 
Joseph Jefferson had the winter before contracted for an 
autumn engagement at this theatre. He knew Mr. 
Palmer would prefer not to disturb the run of a successful 
play and he hoped to persuade Mr. Jefferson to transfer 
his engagement to the Garrick and thus give him a longer 
time for recuperation. With this errand in view he \vent, 
the first time he was permitted to leave the house, to the 
Fifth Avenue Hotel, and with his native nervousness, 
intensified no doubt by weakness and anxiety, he proposed 
to Mr. Jefferson to move his New York engagement from 
the Garden to the Garrick. 

The comedian had an anecdote for every occasion, and 



274 RICHARD MANSFIELD [i8 95 

putting his hand on Mansfield's knee, he began in a 
kindly voice: 

" My young friend, let me tell you a funny story." 

But he never did. Mansfield seized his hat and rushed 
from the room. He hailed the first cab and jumped in. 
"Where?" asked cabby. "Straight ahead," shrieked 
Mansfield. The horse's nose was pointed south and he 
did not stop until he reached the Battery. The rest of 
that afternoon Mansfield spent on the deck of a Staten 
Island ferry-boat. Twice the boat made the length of the 
bay before he left it. 

A young man, then a mere child, recalls playing on the 
deck of a Staten Island boat, and noticing a sad pale 
man who stood by the forward gates. His father told him 
it was Mansfield. The lad had a cap with three feathers 
which he was swinging carelessly. The feathers fell out 
and the wind caught them, but the gentleman by the gate 
gathered them and returned them to the youngster. 
'When you are a little older, my boy," he said, "you will 
be more careful of the feathers in your cap." May it not 
have been this same long afternoon on the water ? 

He recovered rapidly and was soon busy with rehearsals 
again. His season opened in Philadelphia on November 
25 at the Chestnut Street Opera House when he played 
' Beau Brummell." As he entered and came forward to 
the Beau's dressing-table the house rose to him with cheers 
which lasted minutes. He began some improvised "busi- 
ness" of the toilet it being an artistic scruple with him 
not to drop the character but he could not withstand 
the welcome and after a few moments sank back in the 
chair and was quite overcome. 

He had since leaving his sick bed rehearsed five other 
plays for this single week in Philadelphia, in addition to 



'RODION THE STUDENT 



275 



studying a new play and preparing its production for the 
following Monday evening in New York. Such prodigies 
kept him in wretched health most of his life and hastened 
his death. His nature knew no mean. He expended his 
resources without stint or limit in devotion to his art, at 
play as at work, in tenderness or generosity, or in nervous 
hysteria when he lost control of himself. His idea of his 
obligation, as well as his instinct, was nothing short of 
superlative. Yet, he sadly admitted a decade later, "One 
cannot strike twelve all the time." When he felt his 
vitality failing, it will be seen that he announced that the 
end was in sight and that he would stop and get out. 
But he did strike twelve to his last hour on the stage. 

The new play which he had in hand was Charles Henry 
Meltzer's dramatisation of Dostoyevski's "Crime and 
Punishment." It was called "The Story of Rodion, the 
Student," and was acted first on Tuesday evening, De- 
cember 3, at the Garrick Theatre. 1 

The play divided criticism on its own merits, but in one 
scene it offered the artist an opportunity to reach any 



1 The cast was: 

Pophyrius Petrowitch, a magistrate 
Rodion Romanytch, a Russian law 

student .... 
Vladimir Warschawsky, an official 
Isaak Ivanoff, a usurer 
Serge Seroff, a student 
Paul Poloff, a student 
Ivan Rimsky, a student 
Mikola, a mason 
Dimitry, a house painter 
Boroff, a bargee 
Policeman 
Sonia, an outcast 
Pulcheria Alexandrovna 
Catherine Michaelovna 
Vera, sister to Sonia 
Boy, brother to Sonia 
Hostess . 
Nastasia . 



Mr. Harkins. 

Mr. Mansfield. 
Mr. Lyons. 
Mr. Lee. 
Mr. Andrews. 
Mr. Dutton. 
Mr. Passmore. 
Mr. Griffith. 
Mr. Weaver. 
Mr. Cochrane. 
Mr. Shaw. 
Miss Cameron. 
Miss Carey. 
Miss Eustace. 
Miss Lavine. 
Miss Muir. 
Miss Alliston. 
Miss Bennett. 



Janitor, Secretary, Soldiers, Police Agents, Priests, Gypsies, 
Citizens and others. 



276 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1895 

heights. It occurred in the fourth scene of acts there 
were none in the play, of scenes there were six. Mansfield 
seized it and swung himself triumphantly above the plane 
of apparent failure on which he and his fellow-players 
trudged up to that moment. Crazed by hard study, 
sorrow, and starvation, Rodion Romanytch, a young 
anarchist, deliberately kills a filthy usurer and procurer 
because in his philosophy one does good by the suppres- 
sion of evil. He is suspected of the murder and he 
knows his safety depends on his own wit. Avenging con- 
science in the denotement of which Mansfield always rose 
to his highest pursues Rodion; he becomes the embodi- 
ment of fear and dread, and is driven to a delirium in 
which he seeks his victim's house. 

The face of the wild, tortured, hopeless fanatic is ala- 
baster, his eyes blaze deep, black and purposeful. He 
waits for the unspoken horror which his eyes and twisting 
hands announce. He reaches out and seizes this ghastly 
intangible nothing. He wrestles with it, while that which 
he chokes, wrenches and combats, rises above him. It 
oozes out of his grasp. It presses with unearthly force 
against him. With brutal bravery he brings the awful 
phantom to the ground and slinks away with stealthy 
terror. It was a painful silent moment after the curtain 
fell before the audience was released from the hypnotic 
spell of the artist's imagination, and broke into bravos. 
No such applause had been heard before in the Garrick, 
and seldom anywhere else had Mansfield been so heartily 
acclaimed. 

An actor's performance is judged as strong as its strong- 
est moment. Though Mansfield believed Rodion in no 
sense superior to his Richard, the majority of the critics 
proclaimed it the most imaginative and powerful expres- 



i8 95 ] INTROSPECTIVE 277 

sion of his genius. It brought him into direct and favor- 
able comparison with his only rival on the English-speak- 
ing stage. But his Rodion was art, pure and simple, and 
he could not thrill the public out of its abhorrence of the 
unrelieved sorrow, misery, and crime of the play. 

He was neither photographed nor painted as Rodion. 
Though the phantom murder is unforgetably engraved 
in the memory of those who saw it, neither brush nor pen 
could have conveyed the effect he produced. In an article 
in Collier's Weekly for October 6, 1900, Mansfield referred 
to the transiency of the actor's achievement, and here is 
further found his only recorded expression on fever-born 
Rodion: 

Perhaps the saddest spot in the sad life of the actor is 
to be forgotten. Great paintings live to commemorate 
great painters; the statues of sculptors are their monu- 
ments, and books are the inscriptions of authors. But 
who shall say when this generation has passed how 
Yorick played ? If ever contemporary criticism can ex- 
tract one spark to annoy the artist's finger, it should be by 
this thought alone. When the curtain has fallen for the 
last time and only the unseen spirit hovers in the wings, 
what book will speak of all the mummer did and suffered 
in his little time ? Every character he creates is a child 
he bears. There is labour and there is pain. He has 
bestowed upon it his love and incessant thought, and 
sleeping and waking it is with him as with a mother. 
When it is born, it is born like the children of the King- 
in public. It is either a beautiful and perfect child, or he 
drags himself home in misery to weep away his sorrow 
unpitied. Sometimes when the people have acclaimed it, 
those whose business it is to sit in judgment on the child 
condemn it at first sight, and it is buried in its little coffin, 
and only its mother weeps over it. 

I do not wish to become reminiscent or to fall into too 



278 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1895 

early an anecdotage, but I have had so many children, 
and a number of them are dead and forgotten by every- 
body. Only I, their paternal mother, think of them at 
night over my pipe when all the world is still. Then they 
come out of their corners and perch upon my knee. No 
they are not all beautiful. Very few of them are. But 
the mother always cherishes most dearly the ugly 
one. 

There was Nero. How I worked over him ! With what 
infinite pains I created him! How I prepared his beautiful 
robes! And he was buried on the first night. There was 
Don Juan. How he was wreathed in flowers upon the 
night he was born! How the people applauded him! 
How proudly his father and his godmothers and god- 
fathers toasted him! And the next day he was dead and 
buried and the flowers and the tinsel stuffed into his 
coffin. Then poor, wretched, fever-wrought Rodion 
stands before me. He was born to me after a great trial, 
a long and severe illness, the loss of all my means and 
some of my best hopes. He was the child of sorrow. It 
was during the period of convalescence that I bore him, 
and I was shaking with ague and weakness. I stood up 
that night quite careless of life or death. After the scene 
of delirium in which Rodion kills his imagined victim I 
broke down. The curtain had fallen; the audience sat 
perfectly still; there was not a breath of applause. I 
had failed. I was carried to my room. Then there came 
to me the thunder of approval. It woke me it revivified 
me. I went before the curtain again and again. My 
child had triumphed! All my troubles, my sickness, my 
losses were forgotten. But there is no mercy in these 
matters. The next day my child was killed. The next 
night he was dead of neglect, and there was no one at his 
funeral. 

Rodion fell into the repertoire as an occasional piece 
for the balance of the season. Mansfield acted on the 
stage of the Garrick for the last time on December 14. In 



j8 95 ] ABANDONING THE GARRICK 279 

announcing the abandonment of his theatre to the audi- 
ence of December 7, he said with an attempt at humour: 

"It occurred to me and it was suggested to me by my 
entourage that we needed something to eat, and I didn't 
see that it was possible to obtain the wherewithal to get it 
so long as I remained in New York. I assure you there 
is no place where it is so difficult to win pecuniary success 
as in New York, and for that reason I am compelled to 
go to what you are pleased to call the provinces." 

The namesake of this very theatre conveyed the same 
idea in his own verses from his own stage in London, just 
one hundred and forty-five years earlier: 

For though we actors one and all agree 
Boldly to struggle for our vanity 
If want comes on, importance must retreat; 
Our first great ruling passion is to eat! 

And here the curtain falls on the saddest year of Mans- 
field's life at the end of the most trying period of his 
career. The balm of Philadelphia's cheer of welcome 
when he first rose from his sick bed and the individual 
triumph of his Rodion were swallowed up in fatigue, 
failure, disappointment, and new debts. 

The neglect of his King Richard, Don Juan, Nero, 
Shylock, and Napoleon and the failure of Tittlebat Tit- 
mouse, Don Pedro of Peru, and the Garrick Theatre 
were not without their effect. In his affection, he was 
unalterably warm and constant. But in the face he pre- 
sented to the world might be discovered a grimace of 
chagrin, and cynicism tinged his humour. Nothing how- 
ever turned the edge of his bold resolution. He marched 
on with torn banners and bleeding feet, determined to 
conquer. 



CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO 



(1896-1898) 

"Castle Sombras" Extemporising comedy A. M. Palmer "The 
Devil's Disciple" Beatrice Cameron Mansfield retires from 
the stage A satire on press publicity Fighting the Theatrical 
Syndicate Outwitting legal persecutors In pursuit of play- 
pirates. 

THE next two years were all a part of the routine of 
holding his position while waiting, watching, and working 
for the great role. He produced three plays, two of them 
with considerable acclaim, and it began to look as if he 
had passed through the worst. 

Since the experiments with 'Prince Karl" and 'Dr. 
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" at the Boston Museum he presented 
every play first in New York. In the fall of 1896 he 
departed from this rule and gave Chicago a genuine first 
night, when at the Grand Opera House, on November 13 
he appeared first as Sir John Sombras in "Castle Som- 
bras," 1 a dramatisation by Greenough Smith, Esq., editor 
of the Strand Magazine, London, of his own novel of the 
same name. 



1 The cast was: 

Sir John Sombras 
Hilary Dare 
Philip Vane 
Father Florian 
Munroe . 
Host 

Matilda . 
Lady Thyrza 



Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Mr. Henry Jevvett. 
Mr. Francis Kingdon. 
Mr. Joseph Weaver. 
Mr. Wilkes Steward. 
Mr. Henry Allen. 
Mrs. Alice Butler. 
Miss Beatrice Cameron. 



280 



1896] "CASTLE SOMBRAS" 281 

A romantic comedy it was called. The author's intent 
was to indicate the awakening of a noble nature from the 
lethargy imposed by the heritage of centuries of cruelties 
and base deeds. Sir John Sombras was that paradox, a 
villain who outheroed both hero and heroine and ran off 
in the end with all the sympathy. 

The story followed the novel closely, but in the midst 
of complications, intricate as calculus, there was one huge 
surprise which neither author nor actors anticipated and 
Mansfield turned to account. 

He recounted the unique experience in an interview 
some time after: 

"I can now match unexpected failures with an unex- 
pected hit. I produced 'Nero' on a lavish scale. I shall 
always be willing to stake my reputation on my characteri- 
sation of that monarch, but the play drew practically no 
audience even on the first night. The public simply 
would not come near it. Somehow or other even the sub- 
ject did not attract, and upon those few who were there 
the grim humour of the character made no impression 
at all. 

"On the other hand I made a hit in the most unex- 
pected way in 'Castle Sombras.' We rehearsed the play 
as a melodrama. I played the part of a deep, dark 
villain. My first remark as I came on the stage, intended 
to be taken seriously, was greeted with a laugh. Fancy 
my astonishment. For a moment I was dumfounded. I 
could scarcely believe my ears. But there was no mistake, 
the audience had laughed. Then in my heart I thanked 
them for their friendly candour, and I at once adapted 
myself to the situation. I knew it would be fatal to 
attempt to act that play seriously, and taking my cue 
from the audience, I instantly changed my whole concep- 



282 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1897 

tion of the character and played it on the lines of comedy. 
A glance of the eye and a tremor of the mouth directed 
the points, and diabolically villainous speeches were given 
in modern colloquial tones. Extravagant melodramatic 
situations were carried off with the polished manner of 
the society play. In the blindfolded duel scene, in which 
the heroine lures one of the duelists out of one door and 
the second duelist out of another, we rehearsed what we 
supposed would be a finely impressive situation. The 
audience greeted it with roars of laughter. Mrs. Mans- 
field was in tears, supposing the whole production was a 
failure. But I whispered to her- -'It's all right. A silent 
audience is fatal. So long as they laugh we're a success." 

Such is the narrow margin of uncertainty. A play con- 
ceived, written, and rehearsed as a superior example of 
romantic drama was accepted as an uproarious satire on 
that very type. Whom was the joke on ? The author, the 
actor, the play, or the audience ? 

"Castle Sombras" was acted only occasionally and was 
dropped in the spring. By that time Shaw had another 
play ready for Mansfield. The latter referred to it in a 
letter written during the summer to Amy Leslie: 

All fine and intelligent people are sure to like the play, 
for which reason we don't expect it to run the number of 
fine and intelligent people being limited. 'The Devil's 
Disciple" it was baptised Revolutionary period, with 
political conundrums uppermost. I play Dick Dudgeon, 
the Devil's own, who stands on the gallows the English 
have erected to hang rebels somewhere (Shaw calls it 
Webster Bridge) in New Hampshire, and says calmly, 
"Amen, and God damn the King!" I have explained to 
H. R. H. the Prince of Wales, that I am not responsible 
for this, and have urged him to have Shaw executed on 
Tower Hill, and to leave me alone. . . . We are re- 



i8 97 ] A. M. PALMER 283 

hearsing; whenever were we not ? For after the Shaw 
play we produce (beastly word, " produce"!) 'King 
Frederick William I." Person who wrote it, albeit a 
literary swell, doesn't want to be known, being persona 
grata at the German Imperial Court and fearful of losing 
his convenient head. Of course, I play the old King of 
Prussia, Frederick William. If we have a cent of money 
left after these two ventures 'tis proposed to present 
Shakespeare's " Henry V," with me me me in a blonde 
wig and blue eyes and pretty, pretty dresses. We are 
looking for a French lady to play the Princess Katherine, 
but they are all at Trouville or Aix les Bains. Beatrice 
has a beautiful part in "The Devil's Disciple" -quite to 
her heart of a sort of Ibsen young lady, the which 
Beatrice loveth. 

A. M. Palmer this summer of 1897 accepted Mans- 
field's invitation to take the helm, and so long as his 
health permitted, the association of artist and manager 
continued. There was a flavour of poetic justice in the 
move. Palmer had given Mansfield his first real oppor- 
tunity fifteen years before when he promoted him from 
Tirandel to the Baron Chevrial. The interval had 
worked its changes. By sheer force of a luminous, vibrant 
personality shining through everything he acted, Mans- 
field had, in spite of a long line of indifferent plays, emerged 
into a position of sound eminence. 

Palmer had passed from the Union Square Theatre to 
the Madison Square Theatre. Thence he went further 
up Broadway to Wallack's, which for a time bore the 
name Palmer's, then retreated a few blocks downtown 
again to the Garden Theatre, but gave up the failing fight 
in both houses to seek new fortunes with his once success- 
ful stock methods at the Great Northern Theatre, Chicago. 
To other adversities was added a nearly fatal illness, from 



284 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 



[1897 



which he never wholly recovered. He struggled along 
patiently and bravely but he declared sadly that "the 
machine is running down." 

When he was sufficiently restored to assume activities 
again, he accepted Mansfield's offer of an alliance. It 
was the most dignified and important salaried position in 
the American theatre. Mansfield seems to have been 
rewarded for his graceful act. Good fortune attended 
him from now on, for he never had another failure. 

'The Devil's Disciple" was acted for the first time on 
any stage at the Hermanus Bleecker Hall, Albany, Octo- 
ber i, 1897, and the following Monday, it was acted at the 
Fifth Avenue Theatre. 1 

Mansfield acted the protagonist of common-sense w^ith 
a bold, dashing freedom which provoked general surprise. 
The influence of personal dignity was ignored. He quite 
"let himself go." Heretofore, moreover, he had sounded 
the introspective note, the note of inner conflict. Except 
for one moment there was no conflict in Dudgeon's mind. 
He was frank, free, and resolute. Mansfield supplemented 
the native mettle of the fine fellow with the little drifts 
of sentiment, unmistakable refinements under a cowl of 
ruffianly carelessness, and the hypnotic influence of his 
earnest, forceful personality. The last-named he could 



1 The cast was: 

Anthony Anderson . 
Judith Anderson 
Mrs. Anne Dudgeon 
Richard Dudgeon . 
Christopher Dudgeon 
Uncle William Dudgeon 
Uncle Titus Dudgeon 
Essie 

Lawyer Hawkins 
General Burgoyne 
Major Swindon 
Rev. Mr. Brudenell 
A Sergeant 



Officers, Soldiers, Townspeople. 



Mr. Benjamin Johnson. 
Miss Beatrice Cameron. 
Miss Minna Monk. 
Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Mr. A. G. Andrews. 
Mr. W. H. Griffith. 
Mr. Le Fevre. 
Miss Lottie Briscoe. 
Mr. Hunter. 
Mr. Arthur Forrest. 
Mr. Joseph Weaver. 
Mr. William Courtenay. 
Mr. Francis Kingdon. 




RICHARD MANSFIELD AS DICK DUDGEON IN "THE 
DEVIL'S DISCIPLE" 



"THE DEVIL'S DISCIPLE" 285 

flaunt in this part, so intimately akin to his own truth- 
loving, fact-telling, humbug-hating nature. Though he 
dressed Dudgeon in the wig and shorts of the Colonial 
period, he here made the single exception of his career 
in using no make-up. Those who saw him as Dudgeon 
saw his undisguised self. 

The play was given with literal fidelity except in one 
instance. Shaw suggested the note of theatrical conven- 
tionality, by writing the despised and rejected cousin of the 
devil's disciple, Essie by name, in close harmony with 
Dick's variable heart. But Mansfield knew sympathy was 
a more dramatic value than love in a wholly unconventional 
satire. He shortened her frock, moved her years back 
from seventeen to ten, robbed her of her maidenly charms, 
and transformed her into a timid browbeaten little girl 
with a child's gratitude for the one sympathetic heart 
in her little world. Dick's attitude toward Essie, with- 
out changing a line of text, preached a whole sermon on 
the heart of the devil's disciple. The character as acted 
was Mansfield's own. Shaw shrieked across the Atlantic 
for "heart interest." Mansfield courteously replied "Heart 
interest be damned." Not to be outdone in courtly 
extravagance the Irishman cabled "Same to you." 

The public began to catch the drift of Shaw, but "The 
Devil's Disciple" was a more difficult play for the con- 
ventional mind than "Arms and the Man." 

The confusion of Judith Anderson represented the con- 
fusion of the audience. Shaw flattered their intelligence 
as did none of the less subtle dramatists. 'The Devil's 
Disciple" was played during eight weeks at the Fifth 
Avenue. This was the longest run which Mansfield had 
accomplished in New York with one play since the first 
season of " Beau Brummell." 



2 86 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1898 

The January of 1898 Mrs. Mansfield retired from the 
stage and the theatre was poorer. She was one of its 
most intellectual, spirited, sincere, and sympathetic fig- 
ures. Her best characterisations were Raina in "Arms 
and the Man," Hester Prynne in "The Scarlet Letter," 
and Judith Anderson in "The Devil's Disciple." Her 
husband always boldly paid her the compliment of his 
belief that her Portia was the best of her generation. The 
influence she possessed over him, yet never exercised 
except in his yielding confidence, cannot be overestimated. 
She was an ideal artistic helpmate, because while she sus- 
tained him with sympathy which was unreserved, her 
judgment was independent as it was sound, and unper- 
suaded, she never subordinated it to his compelling. He 
had an instinct for the flexible points in another's character 
and possessed an ungoverned tendency to take advantage 
of them. But he never influenced Beatrice Cameron 
against her judgment. As her perceptions were founded 
in a singularly fine intelligence, her integrity became his 
stoutest support. They disagreed, but always with respect. 
When his confidence in all other opinions failed him he 
turned with childish confidence to her. 

Mrs. Mansfield bade the stage farewell at the conclu- 
sion of the Chicago engagement which exte..- led over a 
part of January and February. The third week was 
devoted to the two Shaw plays, and though Mansfield 
rarely played any other afternoon than Saturday, a 
Wednesday matinee was announced. This was dili- 
gently paragraphed in the papers as given "owing to the 
extraordinary demand of the public" etc. 

Mansfield knew better. Much as he valued publicity 
as the breath in the sails of his endeavour, the hollow pre- 
tence of much that had to be written did not escape his 



i8 9 8] SATIRE ON PUBLICITY 287 

sense of humour. At supper the night after the papers 
had boomed with the "public's demand," publicity and its 
absurdities were discussed and he began at once to have 
fun with them. Presently calling for pen and paper he 
jotted down the following paragraphs which satirise a 
whole hatful of obvious vanities: 

Owing to the ardent desire upon the part of the man- 
agement and the star to make as much money as possible 
in a given time, there will be a special matinee on Wednes- 
day next at the Micawber. 

On Monday evening when the new play was produced 
at the Bungle Theatre, so many thousands were turned 
away that there was no one in the house. 

During the entire week the Pecksniff has been enjoying 
the full blast of success. Owing to the great actor's ob- 
jections to playing to empty benches, the house has been 
crowded by the management. 

The royalties to the author of 'The Literal Pug" are 
so enormous that the management has been obliged to 
change the box-office statements. 

After witnessing the performance of "The Subsequent 
Man," the author left at once for New York. 

Owing to the great personal popularity of the great 
tragedian in this city with the press and the public, he has 
decided to produce his new play here, as he desires to 
obtain an unbiassed opinion. 

The great tragedian's well-known disregard of monetary 
considerations and his devotion to his art influence him 
to produce only such plays as the public dislikes or cannot 
comprehend. 

Owing to the superb scenery in the new play at the 
Nickleby, the actors will be withdrawn after next Satur- 
day. 

Owing to the profound impression made by the great 
tragedian he has determined to devote the remainder of 
his career to comedy. 



288 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1898 

Notices concerning the fresh exponent of the part of 
Shylock should be taken cum grano salts. 

The great tragedian will appear this week in eight con- 
trasted roles there will be no difference made, however, 
in his legs. 

The great tragedian has finally decided to refuse money 
at the door. 

Owing to the great success of the new melodrama it 
will be withdrawn after to-morrow evening in order to 
give the public of this city time to rest. 

Owing to the precarious condition of Mr. Jim Spratt's 
business and the doubtful result of his new venture he 
has invited the bar of this city to a banquet. 

Owing to the great fatigue of acting, Mr. Rudge, the 
great comedian, has decided to rest for the remainder of 
the season. 



This winter saw the last of the first organised opposition 
to the Theatrical Syndicate. No one who did not pass 
through this struggle can imagine the panic among actors 
produced by the merger of the leading theatres of the 
country into the hands of a small well-centred group of 
men. The movement was not best for the theatre as an 
institution, for it eliminated the individual manager and 
managing actor as an operating factor. But it was the 
normal expression of this age of centralisation, and was 
inevitable. 

With unity and capital the actors could have defeated 
the managers. But they had neither. A group of brave 
spirits began a campaign. Mrs. Fiske, Mansfield, Jeffer- 
son, Francis Wilson, James A. Herne, and Nat. Goodwin 
were in the front rank, and there was no second rank. 
The Dramatic Mirror became a flaming organ of the little 
band. Individually they made a lusty showing in inter- 
views and curtain speeches. The opposition they pre- 



i8 97 ] ANTI-SYNDICATE 289 

sented was however, largely vociferous and wholly emo- 
tional. 

Mansfield made anti-syndicate curtain speeches nearly 
every night during 1896 and 1897. He defied the mem- 
bers on their own stages. In Philadelphia he castigated 
them in the Chestnut Street Opera House a syndicate 
stronghold belonging to Messrs. Nixon and Zimmermann 
and one evening his utterances were cut in two by the 
descending curtain. He never after appeared in that city 
in a theatre managed by this firm. 

When it was proposed to weld together the group of the 
opposition in 1897, the difficulty of harmonising star- 
natures became apparent. Joseph Jefferson withdrew on 
the persuasion of his son Charles, who was a partner with 
Messrs. Klaw and Erlanger in several enterprises. Good- 
win followed. Several influential stars, not hitherto 
aggressive, but depended on for concerted action at this 
moment, accepted enticing contracts from syndicate man- 
agers. Mansfield saw only futility in the fight and his 
ardour cooled perceptibly. But in the fullest sense of 
the word he was an Independent to the end of his career. 
He was fighting for an independence which opened the 
desirable syndicate houses to him, yet left him free to play 
anywhere else he wished. This he achieved. The exclu- 
siveness of a syndicate was ignored in booking his routes. 
He played wherever it seemed most advantageous in the 
the Grand Opera House, Chicago; the Grand Opera 
House, San Francisco; the Columbia Theatre, Washing- 
ton, before its surrender; in the Walnut Street Theatre, and 
the Garrick Theatre, Philadelphia; in the Herald Square 
Theatre, when it became the corner-stone of a new opposi- 
tion to the Syndicate; and he dedicated the Lyric Theatre 
when this same little group grew strong enough to build. 



290 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1897 

During this middle period of working to live like a 
prince to be sure some of his creditors were far from in- 
active. The anxiety at the time was distressing, but he 
lived to look back on some of the incidents with enjoyment. 
He was the last to admit his own extravagance, for he 
maintained that the style in which he lived and travelled 
was not more than his health demanded and his health 
was the best asset of the crowd of people depending on him 
for salary and support, as well as of the creditors who would 
have to be patient for their pay until fortune was kind to 
him as he believed she was bound to be in time. 

His autocratic bearing plunged him continually into 
trouble of a kindred kind. No one not of the theatre can 
understand the sacredness of the two kitchen chairs flank- 
ing the old kitchen table down by the footlights at re- 
hearsal. One is reserved for the stage manager, the other 
for the manager or star. They are the thrones of grace, 
sacred and inviolable and Mansfield held inflexibly to 
the traditions of these seats of the mighty. 

A few years before this, his sense of decorum was 
offended proportionately one day when he came upon 
the stage to direct a rehearsal and found one of the 
actresses seated in treasonable ease at the prompt-table. 
His anger was tinder and here was a spark. She was dis- 
charged on the spot. A suit was the result and it threat- 
ened to become an American Jarndyce case. As the inci- 
dent happened in Washington the suit was brought there, 
and each of his visits to the capital thereafter was a signal 
for activity on the part of the opposition. 

On his next return to Washington in January, 1897, he 
expected and desired service as early in the week as pos- 
sible in order to get an early judgment. But as the action 
was prompted by pique, the desire was to embarrass him 



[i897 AVOIDING SERVICE 291 

as much as possible. He was playing at the La Fayette 
Square Theatre, which was then managed by his friend 
John W. Albaugh, Sr. To their surprise Saturday night 
arrived without the expected and desired move by the 
opposition. The play was "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," 
in which Mansfield was on the scene throughout the last 
act. This was the moment chosen for service in order to 
detain him in the city and break up his tour. 

The court officers came to Mr. Albaugh for permission 
to go on the stage and serve papers on Mansfield. He 
agreed courteously to escort them to the actor's dressing- 
room immediately the last curtain fell and meantime en- 
tertained them with his best cigars and most engaging 
anecdotes. When the party moved back on the stage 
after the play they found the star's dressing-room door 
bolted from within and no amount of knocking induced 
the occupant to open it. For an hour and a half the 
siege was maintained. At twelve o'clock and one minute, 
Sunday morning, the door was thrown open and Brown, 
Mansfield's faithful dresser, inquired their pleasure. 

"Mr. Mansfield? He left the theatre an hour and a 
half ago. You probably passed him as you came in." 

They had indeed. In some way (perhaps Mr. Albaugh 
could throw light on the matter) the officers' arrival and 
intention became known on the stage. When the last 
curtain fell in darkness on the death of Hyde, Mansfield 
drew a cloak over his shoulders pulled his hat over his 
eyes, seized a fiddle-box from a convenient musician, and 
linking arms with him, slipped out of the front door of 
the theatre, in the midst of a well-affected argument in 
sputtering German. The "old fiddler" rubbed elbows 
with Mr. Albaugh and his party as they passed in the aisle. 

A certain Massachusetts debtor's law since modified was 



292 RICHARD MANSFIELD [i8 97 

the scourge of visits to Boston. It permitted arrest and 
imprisonment in that State, pending trial, for debt how- 
ever insignificant contracted anywhere in the world. This 
embarrassment was evaded by an ingenious device which 
was suggested to Mansfield by a Boston friend who was 
one of his heaviest creditors. As soon as he reached 
Massachusetts he submitted, by prior arrangement, to the 
formality of arrest on the complaint of his friend. Great 
was the surprise of the other deputies when they attempted 
service to be intercepted by an official who politely begged 
their pardon, but Mr. Mansfield was his prisoner! The 
Boston friend, of course, did not sue, but waited till the 
tide in Mansfield's career changed and he paid all his 
obligations. 

It was his boast that he never sued an actor. But, if 
a story which has had currency be not apocryphal, the 
theft of his plays, the exclusive rights to which were his 
most valued asset, brought him as near to breaking his 
rule this winter, however, as he ever came. 

The dread and the despair of owners of successful plays 
is the play pirate. He flourishes in the West. He is 
venturesome and unprincipled as was his cousin of the 
Spanish Main, and his trade is made easy by a firm in 
Chicago which will, for a slight consideration, furnish the 
manuscript of any piece acted. 

Mansfield's special train, it is said, was one day easing 
its pace in conformity to the speed law of the town it w r as 
passing through, when from the car window his eye was 
attracted by a poster announcing: "The Lyceum Comedy 
Company in 'Prince Karl' to-night." 

Here was a chance for evidence and action. He reached 
for the bell rope and the engine stopped. Mr. Palmer 
appeared to inquire the reason. 



[i8 97 PURSUING PIRATES 293 

Mansfield pointed to a duplicate of the first poster con- 
veniently opposite his car where the train had halted. 
"Cancel to-night's performance, but send the company 
ahead on their schedule," he said. 'You and I will put 
an end to this thieving here and to-night." 

There was no appeal from his verdict. That night they 

two found seats in the dingy little "Opera House," and 

awaited developments. After a racy quickstep on a piano 

and two other asthmatic instruments the curtain rose on 

' Prince Karl." 

It was not what Mansfield expected. His anger gradu- 
ally changed to astonishment and then thawed into 
laughter. The performance of the four men and two 
women was a revelation to him, especially the man play- 
ing the Prince. He gave it entirely new aspects. He 
dressed it like a German emigrant, and when he came to 
the scene where Mansfield gave his exquisite operatic 
drolleries, this Karl broke into tumultuous song and dance, 
making his exit with a cart-wheel, and the company rushed 
in and brought the curtain down with a cakewalk. 

All resentment ceased and there was no further concern 
about pirates. He rejoined his company by the next 
train and the performance of the pirate Prince remained 
one of the treasured evenings of his experience. 



CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE 

(1898) 

Some of Mansfield's pen productions "Blown Away" "The 
Charge at Dargai Gap" "The Eagle's Song" "The Sinner's 
Song" "Bring Me That Coat" A dedication On the plat- 
form His first Chicago address "The First Violin" A cur- 
tain speech. 

THIS winter of 1897-1898 Mansfield's nonsense book, 
' Blown Away" was published; two of his poems appeared 
in print; a collection of his music was put into book form, 
and he made his first appearance on the platform, deliver- 
ing an address before the students and faculty of the Uni- 
versity of Chicago. 

The variety of these productions illustrate his prismatic 
moods. He did not polish what he wrote. It came from 
his pen with nervous energy and bubbling imagination 
to humour a mood or to amuse those about him. Once 
the ink was dry the things he wrote became Dead Sea fruit 
to him. 

The manuscript of the nonsense sketches, which he had 
written to amuse Miss Cameron and another friend, on 
the Pacific tour of the spring 1892, had tossed about in 
his trunks ever since. He was spending a few weeks on 
the Massachusetts coast during the summer of 1897, and 
to amuse some young folks he hunted up and read to them 

294 



i89 7 ] 'BLOWN AWAY' 295 

the pages intended for "Beatrice and Jessie." In the 
party was Mr. L. C. Page, and a young lady who was also 
a listener on that summer day later became his wife. 
When on their wedding trip they dined with Mr. and Mrs. 
Mansfield, the fairy story was mentioned, and Mr. Page, 
who had become a member of the publishing firm of L. C. 
Page & Co., asked to be allowed to publish it. The idea 
had not occurred to Mansfield before and he was inclined 
to laugh at the suggestion as a joke. Mr. Page was in 
earnest, however, and pleaded so eloquently that he con- 
sented, saying: "You may publish the book and we will 
call it a wedding present; but it's the most utter rot, the 
merest drivel." 

" Blown Away" takes its title from the first adventure of 
Beatrice and Jessie. They start out to find a prince who 
is held captive by a boarding-house fairy, encounter a 
storm and are blown away, hither and thither, encounter- 
ing the most surprising adventures, seeing the strangest 
sights, and meeting the queerest people. A child would 
listen to it wide-eyed and a mature understanding chuckles 
over the half-veiled satire on manners, fashions, and 
politics; on anything, in fact, from Noah to Victoria, 
Mother Goose to the Poet Laureate. 

The preface is vividly indicative of the pretty mockeries 
of the book: 

Should any person labour under the impression that 
any beast or thing described in this book is intended for 
a caricature of him, he is in error. This book contains 
no sarcasm, satire, or cynicism. It was written as a 
purely childish and innocent pastime. It hides no sting. 
It was never intended for publication. There exists no 
adequate reason why it should have been published. It 
relates no story. If the author harboured any design, it 



296 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1898 

was to entertain some young people during a lengthy 
journey. It was then tossed aside and forgotten. It 
should not have been disturbed. Alas! it cropped up one 
day at the seashore a rainy day. The author read these 
pages to a number of small boys who could not escape. 
The smallest and least intelligent boy was amused. He 
bore out the promise of his childhood by becoming a 
publisher. He trailed the man who had corralled him 
that day. His object was to wreak a long-delayed ven- 
geance by publishing this book. He accomplished his 
fell purpose by bribing the author. Nothing remains 
but to pity the author and to execrate the publishers. The 
author's affection for his wife is his reason for not dedicat- 
ing these pages to HER. 

Natively Mansfield was British. The tenderest recol- 
lections of his life clustered about the school-days at 
Derby. He loved the ease and elegance of life in Eng- 
land, her centuries of glory were a favourite study, he 
delighted in the pomp and majesty of a monarchy. But 
it was not for this that the news of the Gordon High- 
lander's charge at Dargai Gap set his blood tingling. 
Nationality and citizenship really never mattered to him. 
The appeal was in the incomparable heroism of the inci- 
dent. When he read the cables, he tore open several 
envelopes and on them jottedthese inspiring verses: 

THE CHARGE AT DARGAI GAP 

Bulldogs, hark! Did your courage fail? 
Bulldogs, hark! Did your glory pale? 
What of the slander that says "Decayed!" 
"Gone to the dogs since the Light Brigade!" 
For the blood and bone that humbled Nap, 
'Twas there again, boys, in the Dargai Gap! 
Did you hear the swish of the flying shot ? 
The roll of the drum and the rattle pot ? 



"THE EAGLE'S SONG' 3 297 

The music that rose clear o'er that yell 

And thrilled thro' the ranks and stirred up Hell! 

Come, Highland laddie, head up, step forth! 

A crown of glory! "Cock of the North!" 

You "Cock of the North," aye, pipe away! 

With both stumps gone, and you won the day! 

You may lean your backs against comrades now, 

They'll moisten your lips and they'll kiss your 

brow, 

For they fought like men, and a man may weep 
When he lays a man to his last long sleep. 
Bulldogs who sleep on the Dargai ridge, 
Fall in! Quick, march! and over the bridge! 
The piper's ahead, and the same old air 
To pipe you to Heaven and vet'rans there! 
And you'll tell the bullies who humbled Nap 
The glorious story of Dargai Gap. 

He did not become an American citizen, but the country 
of his adoption and of his home was dearer to him than he 
admitted even to himself. Conditions as he found them 
here fell, as did everything else in one mood or another, 
under the rod of his criticism, but for years his voice was 
raised in thundering protest against the depreciation of the 
American stage by Americans, and against the patronage of 
foreign criticism. Dewey's victory in Manila Bay, when, 
for the first time since the Civil War, Northern and South- 
ern men fought side by side, inspired this fine burst from 
Mansfield's muse: 



THE EAGLE S SONG 



The Lioness whelped, and the sturdy cub 

Was seized by an Eagle and carried up 

And homed for a while in an Eagle's breast, 

And the Eagle taught it the Eagle's song: 

"To be staunch and valiant and free and strong!' 



298 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1898 

The Lion whelp sprang from the eerie nest, 
From the lofty crag where the queen birds rest; 
He fought the King on the spreading plain, 
And drove him back o'er the foaming main. 
He held the land as a thrifty chief, 
And reared his cattle and reaped his sheaf, 
Nor sought the help of a foreign hand, 
Yet welcomed all to his own free land! 

Two were the sons that the country bore 
To the Northern lakes and the Southern shore, 
And Chivalry dwelt with the Southern son, 
And Industry lived with the Northern one. 

Tears for the time when they broke and fought! 
Tears were the price of the union wrought! 
And the land was red in a sea of blood, 
Where brother for brother had swelled the flood! 

And now that the two are one again, 
Behold on their shield the word "Refrain!" 
And the Lion cubs twain sing the Eagle's song, 
"To be staunch and valiant and free and strong!" 

For the Eagle's beak and the Lion's paw, 
And the Lion's fangs and the Eagle's claw, 
And the Eagle's swoop and the Lion's might, 
And the Lion's leap and the Eagle's sight, 
Shall guard the flag with the word "Refrain," 
Now that the two are one again! 

Here's to a cheer for the Yankee ships! 
And "Well done, Sam," from British lips! 

"The Sinner's Song" was written about this time. 
There is a rich cast of Tom Hood in the scattered rhymes 
and pungent irony, but the writer's own muscular 



1898] "THE SINNER'S SONG" 299 

intellectuality gradually works up from the gentle apolo- 
getic beginning to the withering sarcasm of the last two 
lines which fall like four blows on a smitten anvil. It was 
printed later. 



THE SINNER'S SONG 



If once at bay I touched a crime 

In boyhood hot-head, heedless time 

And all my neighbours rang the chime, 

Wherever I might wander- 
Do you believe I could outlive 
Or that my neighbours could forgive 

That stretching stain of slander ? 

Do you believe that I could rise 
And, by my doughty deeds and wise, 

Wash out that blot, I wonder ? 
Or, if I strived in doing good, 
And saving all the souls I could 

Wherever I might wander, 
Would that one stain upon my name 
Outweigh my labour and my fame ? 

Alas, you know it would! 

Would all my struggles, all my tears, 

For days and nights, for months, for years. 

Be ever understood ? 
My sorrow and my piteous prayer 
Might reach Almighty's gracious ear, 

But would my neighbour hear ? 

O gentle kind! O kind mankind! 
O thieves and liars, deaf and blind, 

But never, never dumb 
O beasts that drabble in your pen, 
And beasts that wear the garb of men, 

What honour to be one! 



300 RICHARD MANSFIELD [x8gs 

Could I have hid that early crime 
And tuned my sycophantine chime 

To key with pleasing lies, 
And stuffed beast's loathsome belly full 
And pat his elephantine hull, 

Or please his amorous eyes: 

How good were I! How wise were I! 
How well I'd live! How damned I'd die! 

Is there not a personal note in these verses ? The sinner 
was Mansfield. The sin of his ''boyhood, hot-head, 
heedless time" were those indiscreet, though honest, re- 
taliations upon the critics and those ill-advised curtain 
speeches when poverty, failure, and debt held him "at 
bay." He tried by "doughty deeds and wise" to wash 
out their memory and to quiet gossip, but the press was 
"never, never dumb" about his discipline, his temper, and 
his egoism. But he would not dissemble, or "tune his 
sychophantine chime to key with pleasing lies." He pre- 
ferred to live damned and die well! 

Place must be given here to verses found by the writer 
among Mansfield's dusty and forgotten papers. They 
have before this been read by but one other eye, but 
tender and intimate as is their sentiment, they are so elo- 
quent of one side of his nature a side his sensitiveness 
hid with too much success in life that they contribute 
invaluably to an understanding of the man. They are 
addressed 

TO BEATRICE 

Bring me that coat! 
I wore it when I wooed her first! 
Her mittened hand was on that sleeve 
And stayed me when I feigned to read 
Her silence a command to leave. 



is 9 8] "BRING ME THAT COAT' 301 

Some fragrance still may linger there 
Where once her perfumed tresses lay, 
When she had sunk her golden head 
Upon my breast, that hallowed day! 

Or yet, perchance, some silken thread 
Of her dear locks may still remain, 
There, where they floated o'er my heart! 

search ye well and search again! 

No ? Then perhaps may linger now 
The fragrance of the purple flower 
That with her own dear hand she pinned 
Upon my coat, that happy hour ? 

Bring me that coat! 
Is there a mark upon the breast 
Of tears, that were not sorrow shed ? 
Of tears, that her dear eyes had wept, 
And they were tears of joy, she said ? 

Search well the pockets, will you fifid 
A tiny, useless bit of lace ? 

1 stole it from the hand that hid 
The smile that dawned upon her face. 

Seek, is the glove no longer there 
That she unclasped to smooth my hair, 
As I had knelt and bowed my head 
Upon her knee, in mute despair ? 

Bring me that coat! 
Be there no vestige of these now, 
Of amber-scented lock no trace ? 
There is a silent witness still 
More precious far than glove or lace: 

'Tis here where you may scarcely see 
The little rent a blackthorn tore; 



302 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1898 

That's where her loving fingers delved, 
That's where her loving glances bore! 

Look at the stitches close and neat, 
You'll barely find the rent I tore; 
She mended all my life like that! 
Bring me that coat, that coat once more! 

His facility in making casual inscriptions is illustrated 
by the following lines, written in the fly-leaf of a book 
which he gave Miss Cameron while they were playing in 
London: 

This book I give thee, and the pages here 
Save where the natural ink is blackly lined 

(Even as creatures see the first light marked), 
Save this all white and spotless as an angel's garb. 
This book I give thee! And herein thou speak and say 

thy say, 
With none 'twixt thee and it, but God : 

Writing thy thoughts and deeds, 
Writing thy griefs and cares, 
Writing thy lights and joys, 
Writing thy hopes and prayers. 
Writing thy love and likes, 
Writing thy secret mind, 
Writing thy lost and sought, 
Writing the good thou'lt find! 
This book I give thee! 

Keep thou thyself as it, spotless and pure and white, 
Even thy thoughts as it. And God guide what thou write! 

This book I give thee! 

RICHARD MANSFIELD. 
Nov. 27, 1888. 

Professor, later President, Judson of the University of 
Chicago, by some subtle persuasion induced Mansfield to 



i8 9 8] ON THE PLATFORM 303 

address the faculty and student body during his visit to 
Chicago in January and February, 1898. This was his 
first appearance on the public platform, unless we except 
a brief and unprepared address he made years before to 
the cloistered nuns of the Visitation and the young ladies 
in their Washington convent, when he said so many beauti- 
ful and witty things that his dozen minutes are still referred 
to as one of the golden events of their experience. That 
was in the days of easy assurance which abandoned him 
as his sense of responsibility grew. 

Only half a dozen times did Mansfield appear on the 
platform. In the autumn of 1905 he opened a notable 
course on ''Poetry and the Drama," in Music Hall, 
Chicago; and spoke at the University of California and 
the Friday Morning Club of Los Angeles; in the spring fol- 
lowing he accepted the invitation of the Woman's Club of 
Buffalo and Provost Harrison's invitation to address the 
faculty and students of the University of Pennsylvania. 
These engagements cost him much effort. His work on 
the stage was his mistress, and he grudged time taken from 
his work or his preparation for work. A New York edi- 
tor preparing a symposium as to the vacation diversions 
of public men asked him how he was spending his 
summer. To which he replied: "Worrying how I shall 
spend my winter." It was considered witty or flippant 
or something besides the literal fact, which it was. 

Appearance in public, whether on the platform or on 
the stage in character, was an unbelievable task for him. 
The performance of a role he had acted a hundred times 
was as eventful to him as a first night. It entailed restful 
preparation for hours before he went to the theatre. So 
much of his vitality and so much physical and emotional 
concentration went into a performance, so completely did 



3 o 4 RICHARD MANSFIELD [is 9 s 

he absorb himself in the sufferings and passions of the 
character he portrayed, that he left the stage as debilitated 
as if he had passed through the actual crisis. 

This complete absorption produced the inevitable reac- 
tion. He sought diversion in the simplest forms, and the 
daytime was spent in such rest as he could snatch from 
the routine responsibilities of his busy life. Both Jeffer- 
son and Irving had an inestimable advantage over him in 
this respect. To them, as to Bernhardt and Coquelin, 
the night's work was play. They could devote their days 
to giving and receiving visits, to entertaining and lecturing, 
with the complete success which is the result of abandon- 
ment as well as of resources, and they exacted no price 
from their performance at night. 

Mansfield was a nervous wreck when he reached the 
lecture platform. He dared not trust to improvisation or 
memory, but wrote his discourse out carefully and read it 
word for word. His style in such compositions had at 
times an oratorical swing and yielded periods of power. 
For the most part, however, he was more impressed with 
the responsibility of telling truths than setting off rhetorical 
fireworks. He was crisp, literal, and matter of fact. 
Once he got possession of himself, and that subtle sixth 
sense, by which the artist feels the responsiveness and 
sympathy of his audience, told him he had control of his 
hearers, his ease returned and he read with moving persua- 
sive authority, and his hands, eyes, and countenance 
became graphic interpreters of his theme. He seldom 
digressed. 

The first Chicago address was delivered at the Uni- 
versity, in Kent Theatre. Though the novelty of Mans- 
field's first public utterance made it of national interest 
he approached the occasion only as an afternoon chat 



,898] THE ACTOR'S EQUIPMENT 305 

to a group of young people interested in the stage. He 
took the opportunity to point out the serious purpose 
which should animate the stage aspirant, the hardships to 
be encountered, the accomplishments demanded but neg- 
lected, and followed with some comment on those who 
ignore the educational value of the theatre, a plea for play- 
wrights with lofty ideals, a rejoinder to the personal criti- 
cism which had pestered him all his life, and his favourite 
insistence on the supremacy of the American stage. 

The full first half of his paper was devoted to the 
necessity of vocal culture, painting, deportment, and 
languages in the equipment of an actor. Urging the 
necessity of control of voice he instanced the various quali- 
ties of voice required in different roles: 

If I am playing a great role of Shakespeare, then I need 
a large body of voice. If I am playing Richard III, as 
we play it, then I have to begin as a young man of char- 
acter, gradually developing until he becomes old and 
steeped in sin; and yet through long hours of talking I 
must have that same immense power of voice at the end 
of the play that I had at the commencement, and yet I 
must have an entirely different quality of voice. Do you 
stop to realise that matter? Do you stop to think that 
in the old days it was a well-known fact that Edmund 
Kean, Mr. Kemble, or even Edwin Forrest, when he 
came to the last of the act, and he cried: "A horse! A 
horse! My kingdom for a horse!" was very hoarse. 
Nobody heard it; he didn't have any voice left; but to- 
day we have studied so to guard ourselves as to gradually 
develop the voice, so that at the end of the play we are as 
fresh and as voiceful as when we started. . . . 

If the mission of the actor is only to amuse, then I do 
not want to be an actor. I say, and I think there are 
some who hold with me, that the mission of the actor is 



3 o6 RICHARD MANSFIELD [i8 9 s 

not only to amuse but to instruct. ... It would be a piti- 
ful thing, indeed, if we were only to be Punchinello. . . . 

When he pleaded for a great play he spoke from his own 
experience of the last eight years, little dreaming of his 
morrow's mail with its treasure from France: 

The dearth of playwrights is to-day our great trouble. 
We wear out the weary hours, toiling and fretting, willing 
to do, but we have nothing to do it with. We would like 
to act, but there is little to act. You want to go to see 
Shakespeare, but only in spots; only now and then; only 
spasmodically. You won't go to see a great play of 
Shakespeare unless I spend the earnings of a lifetime on 
its presentation. If you do not get such attractions as my 
friend Henry Irving has to give, if you do not get mag- 
nificent scenery, superb costumes, music, and little addi- 
tions in the shape of ballet, you won't go to see Shake- 
speare. Consequently we can only now and then play 
Shakespeare. What can we therefore do ? We have to 
do the best we can find, and what is that ? Who writes 
for the stage ? Who is there of all the brilliant men in 
this country to devote their minds to the stage ? I have 
some friends who write plays, and I should be sorry to say 
that they were not good plays, but I cannot say that they 
are great plays; and yet there must be great minds in 
this country. What is there left for us to do ? and I 
think right here I may be permitted to make through you 
that appeal to the rising generation, to devote their minds 
to the writing of great plays. I think it is a worthy task. 
We get plays from England and France, with the result, 
as the authors know, that the plays are thrown not into 
the hands of the actor, but into the hands of the specu- 
lator. 

The stage is waiting for the great drama, and for the 
great dramatist as he was in days gone by; not the enemy 
of the actor, but his friend; not the business speculating 



x8 9 8] STAGE MORALITY 307 

author, who says: 'I will give my play where it will give 
the largest return," but for him who says, "I will give my 
play where it will be played the best and will live the 
longest." These authors, when they give their plays to 
the speculator, find that play played for one season only, 
and then thrown into the waste-paper basket; but it is 
the actor who creates a great character which will make 
the play live, and it will not live only one season, but it 
will live for the lifetime of that actor, and then, perchance, 
be taken up by other actors and played unto all time. 

Clement Scott of the London Daily Telegraph had a 
few weeks before created a diversion by attacking the 
morality of the men and women of the stage, which 
inspired this paragraph: 

Fierce the light that beats upon the throne, and this, 
perhaps, has caused so many people to believe that the 
stage is immoral. There is no more perhaps less im- 
morality on the stage than there is in society. The people 
of the stage are too busy, too occupied, and too tired to 
go in for the immorality that occurs in almost every walk 
of life. There is just the same temptation for you, ladies 
and gentlemen here present, in the University of Chicago. 
There is no more and no less temptation for you than 
there is for us. We have to work together. You have 
to work together. You travel together. We travel to- 
gether. It rests with every man and woman of an age 
to be what they wish, and I have still to find out, on the 
serious stage, that there is that immorality which the 
dramatic critic of the Daily Telegraph has stated there is. 

When he returned East in the spring "The First Violin" 
was ready for the stage. By Dion Boucicault's gauge that 
"plays are not written, they are rewritten," 'The First 
Violin " should have been a masterpiece. It was written 
and rewritten four times before Mansfield ventured its 



3 o8 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 



[1898 



production. He and Mrs. Mansfield had long believed in 
the play-possibilities of Jessie Fothergill's charming, if 
conventional romance of musical student life in Germany. 
He had played so many forbidding roles that they felt 
just for once he might allow himself the diversion of a 
wholly sympathetic hero. If it was a step down from his 
sustained intellectual plane it was at least effected with 
elegance and charm. 

The version he accepted was by J. I. C. Clarke, but he 
rewrote it to such an extent that Mr. Clarke scarcely 
recognised it. His share in the work was credited to a 
nom de plume, Meridan Phelps. 'The First Violin" was 
put on the stage first at the Hollis Street Theatre in Bos- 
ton, on April 18, 1898. ' 

The following Monday the play was acted at the 
Garden Theatre in New York. At the end of the even- 
ing of enthusiasm he responded to calls and addressed 
the audience: 'Ladies and gentlemen, it is very near 



1 The cast on this occasion was: 
The Grand Duke . 
Count von Rothenfels 
The Countess Hildegarde 
Herr von Francius 
Eugen Courvoisier 
Sigmund, his son 
Friedhelm Helfen 
Karl Linders . 
Herr von Papenheim 
Jager zu Rothenfels 
Professor Sebastian 
A Railway Official 
Herr Boudelweiss 
Herr Singfest . 
Herr Krausgrieg. 
Miss Hallam . 
Merrick, her maid 
Fraulein Anna Sartorius 
Miss May Wedderburn 
Fraulein Schultz 
Frau Schmidt . 
Clara 

Musicians, Citizens, 



Mr. Kingdon. 
Mr. Johnson. 
Miss Glidden. 
Mr. Weaver. 
Mr. Mansfield. 
Miss Morrison. 
Mr. Forrest. 
Mr. Andrews. 
Mr. Courtenay. 
Mr. Hunter. 
Mr. Griffith. 
Mr. Graham. 
Mr. Butler. 
Mr. Dwyer. 
Mr. Bonchard. 
Miss Alliston. 
Miss Cummins. 
Miss Oliver. 
Miss Fairfax. 
Miss Marsh. 
Miss Clarke. 
Miss Blanchard. 
Railway Officials. 




RICHARD MANSFIELD AS EUGEN COURVOISIER IN "THE 

FIRST VIOLIN" 



THE FIRST VIOLIN" 



" " 309 



the end of the season and both my clever company 
and myself are thoroughly tired out playing heroics. 
So the other day we got together and with the assistance 
of Mr. Clarke and my splendid corps of scenic artists 
we thought, like Grosvenor in 'Patience,' we would 
treat ourselves to the customary half-holiday. The 
result, as you see, is 'The First Violin,' a play in which 
we all have parts which please and rest us, even if they 
don't succeed in pleasing s and resting you. I know per- 
fectly well that the critics are going to condemn this play 
to-morrow. I don't blame them. And I feel equally sure 
they are going to condemn me. Last week we were con- 
demned in Boston, yet, ladies and gentlemen, I had the 
pleasure of playing to the largest box office receipts of my 
entire career in Boston during the week in which I 
appeared there in 'The First Violin.' If I can only suc- 
ceed m making my New York friends condemn and visit 
it to the same extent, I shall feel even more rested than I 
do at present. You have no idea how tiring it is to play 
roles in which you have either to grovel or be heroic all the 
time. My company feel exactly as I do about this matter 
and my only hope is that they will escape the condemna- 
tion which is sure to be heaped upon myself and the play- 
wright." 

"The First Violin" was not sizeable to the standards 
Mansfield had invited by his other exploits, but the pub- 
lic found so much to enjoy in his Eugen Courvoisier-a 
facile role without heights or depths-that it was acted 
at the Garden Theatre, for many weeks beyond the ord- 
inal term. At this moment war was declared with Spam 
and the country thrilled with military preparations and 
anticipations. The public was diverted from its accus- 
omed diversions. The theatres in general were empty. 



310 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1898 

The Garden, however, was crowded these warm spring 
nights as Mansfield had not filled any theatre in New 
York since the run of "Beau Brummell." But he had 
critically important plans ahead and was obliged to ter- 
minate his season June 14. 

And here closed that middle period of his public life 
a period of some triumphs and many defeats, of costly 
experiments, of disappointments that would have broken 
a weaker spirit, and of ceaseless struggle for the supremacy 
of which he not for one hour relinquished his determined 
hope. 

When the curtain went up again it was on the golden 
period of authority with the public, of an opulent pros- 
perity which enabled him to throw off the last penny of his 
indebtedness, during which he reached and maintained 
himself in preeminence. The record from now on is one 
of triumph. 



CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR 

(1898) 

The arrival of " Cyrano de Bergerac " To London to see Coquelin 
George Gibbs Mansfield Rehearsals "Cyrano de Bergerac" 
produced Effect of his triumph Threshold of the golden 
period. 

THE arrival of a new play was scarcely an event. An 
average of three a day made the emotions somewhat 
callous. All were read, most of them were discussed with 
Mansfield, the winnowings were given him for final judg- 
ment. 

When he reached his hotel after the visit to the Univer- 
sity of Chicago the previous winter, he found in his mail 
the published book of a French play sent by a friend in 
Paris. "This was acted three weeks ago at the Porte 
St. Martin," ran the accompanying note. "Paris is wild 
about it. Here is the role for which you have been wait- 
ing." That promise had a familiar ring. He put the 
book aside until a more convenient hour. 

There were two meals which Mansfield always ate 
alone; breakfast and the light repast of broth and oysters 
late in the afternoon. An empty stomach attacked his 
nerves and set his temper on edge. In the morning he 
was in no convenient mood until he had the invariable 
coffee and bacon. After a somewhat rigid abstinence 
during the rest of the day and evening the fatigue of a 



312 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1898 

performance edged his nerves, till his midnight supper, 
with a troop of friends about him, warmed him into the 
sunniest humour of the day. A book or play was the 
companion of his solitary meals. 

The Sunday morning after the French play arrived he 
opened it over his coffee. After the first page he did not 
lift his eyes. Breakfast grew cold, untasted. Minutes 
piled into hours, yet of everything was he oblivious except 
the pages before him. At three o'clock he presented him- 
self at Mr. Palmer's room. 

'I have found the character and the play for which I've 
searched these fifteen years," he exclaimed. Then, dis- 
daining a chair, he paced the floor, telling the story of 
"Cyrano de Bergerac," acting passages as he read along, 
declaiming the longer speeches with much the same 
definite characterisation which distinguished his perform- 
ance on the first night. He composed his performance 
of the role practically on the instant. It seemed little 
different or more detailed after weeks of rehearsal. 

That day a cable message opened negotiations with 
Paris. The answer was a surprise: "Cannot give you 
American rights. Copyright neglected." Mansfield had 
a chivalrous belief that if he acknowledged the poet's rights 
others would respect his, so he signed a contract to pay 
M. Rostand five per cent, of his gross receipts whenever 
"Cyrano de Bergerac" w r as acted by him. In return 
what did he get ? That's another story and will appear 
later. 

Very soon letters came from Paris by the score from 
friends and from strangers alike telling him of the 
mounting success of "Cyrano de Bergerac" and assuring 
him he was the one artist on the English-speaking stage to 
play the Gascon. Twenty copies of the Edition Charpen- 



1898] "CYRANO DE BERGERAC' 313 

tier had fluttered to him across the Atlantic from various 
sources when the count was abandoned. Then the trans- 
lations began to pour in from Paris, from London, from 
many Americans. All were hopeless. He commissioned 
his friend, Miss Gertrude Hall she of Verlaine in English 
and the Wagner dramas in story to translate the poem. 
Her version was inevitably accurate and exquisite. When 
published it discounted every other in popularity. But 
her phrasing wanted dramatic vigour. It was not suffi- 
ciently masculine for the mouth of this vanquisher of 
one hundred at the Porte de Nesle. Mansfield was con- 
fident, however. He believed his destiny was at work. 
Finally from among another score he triumphantly selected 
a translation that uttered with the directness of prose, the 
cadence of poetry, and the vibration of energy. It was 
the work of Howard Thayer Kingsbury, a young New 
York attorney. 

j 

The popularity of "The First Violin" was providential. 
It defrayed the domestic expenses of an unusually expen- 
sive summer and yielded a portion of the forty thousand 
dollars which were spent on the production of "Cyrano 
de Bergerac." The balance ? It was borrowed on 
mortgages which covered his home, his private car, his 
theatrical productions, and every chattel he possessed. 
Everything was sacrificed. 

The praise of Coquelin became a paean, and by summer 
it raised a great doubt in Mansfield's mind. Dared he 
challenge the French actor in his greatest role ? Was he 
not inviting a comparison which would ruin him ? With 
every detail of the costumes and scenery determined and 
in the hands of the artisans, he slipped quietly aboard 
ship and went to see for himself if this were artistic suicide 
he was planning. 



3H RICHARD MANSFIELD [1898 

"Cyrano de Bergerac" had been acted for six months 
in Paris and Mansfield found Coquelin playing it in Lon- 
don. Without a word of his presence to any one but his 
brother Felix, who resided in the British capital as his 
foreign agent, he entered the Lyceum Theatre to deter- 
mine his own fate. He declared afterward that his ordeal 
that night when he subjected his own conception to com- 
parison with Coquelin's was far more severe on him than 
when he offered it on the first night to the thumbs of his 
public in America. "After the first act I was in despair," 
he said. "Coquelin did not act Cyrano, he seemed the 
embodiment of the Gascon. No one but a Frenchman, 
and no Frenchman but Coquelin, could banter with that 
inimitable Gasconade. And in what tongue but Cyrano's 
own could one hope to toss such badinage ? Plainly, per- 
severance invited martyrdom. I could have abandoned 
my plans, my hopes, everything on the instant, but I 
waited for the second act. When he introduced the cadets 
I felt a breath of courage, for I believed my own introduc- 
tion had its own quality. As Christian's insults, the 
wooing under the balcony, the fantastic detention of 
De Guiche and the siege of Arras passed before me my 
spirits mounted, until the repetition of the gazette and 
the death then hope, confidence, and determination all 
came back. Coquelin in his way was inimitable. But 
my Cyrano, equally of Rostand and of Bergerac, was on 
its pedestal again. When I left the theatre my fears had 
vanished. In spite of all he achieved with the role his 
performance appealed tome as the Cyrano of a comedian." 

There remained an interval of two days before he was 
to sail, and he devoted one of them to a trip down to a 
small country town to see the D'Oyly Carte Touring 
Opera Company. He found it practically the same as 



HIS SON BORN 315 

when he had been identified with it twenty years before. 
'The personnel had changed" he said, "but it had lost 
none of its identity. It had been giving Gilbert and Sulli- 
van operas during all that time, and the people would talk 
over their roles with as much interest and enthusiasm as 
if they were entirely new." Three weeks after he had 
quitted his wife he was again at her side in the cottage 
at Rye where he had bestowed her in the spring. In a 
few days August 3 their first and only child was born. 
He was christened George Gibbs Mansfield. 

Interest in Cyrano de Bergerac soon became a fad in 
America. Three translations of Rostand's play were pub- 
lished and multiplied in editions. The demand for the 
French text bespoke the imported books before they 
arrived. An American reprint proved a golden invest- 
ment. It was discovered that Louis Gallet's story, "Cap- 
tain Satan," was a tale of Cyrano and this was translated 
quickly and advertised boldly as "The Adventures of 
Cyrano de Bergerac." An acquaintance with Cyrano's 
own writings was ferreted, and his "Histoire Comique 
des Etats et Empires de la Lune" was put into English 
and printed. Amateur poets tried their skill in English 
renderings of the Ballad of the Duel, the Kiss Speech, 
and the Recipe for Almond Cream Tarts, and news- 
papers reproduced them. Finally vendors appeared on 
the sidewalks with Cyrano heads in gutta-percha, and did 
a rushing business. 

Such advance interest in a play had never before been 
known. It stimulated high expectations. There was 
small margin for surprise. Worse, the cupidity of other 
managers was tempted. Translations which Mansfield 
refused were abbreviated in cast and sold to dramatic 
stock companies. There threatened soon to be a hundred 



3 i6 RICHARD MANSFIELD [ lS9 s 

Cyranos in the field. The only production, however, 
which was associated with a name which gave promise of 
artistic rivalry was that announced by Augustin Daly. 
This manager was not at the time at the zenith of his 
success, but his distinguished career still made him a 
factor to be reckoned with. He altered the play to in- 
crease the interest in Roxane, and announced Miss Ada 
Rehan for the precieuse and Mr. Charles Richman for 
Cyrano. Mansfield's first appearance in Cyrano was 
fixed for October 3 at the Garden Theatre. Daly se- 
lected the same night to present his version for the first 
time, at the Chestnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, and it 
was one of the most complete failures he ever experienced. 

Unforgetable were those August and September re- 
hearsals. No one who was confined in the city during 
those seething months will ever believe the summer of 
1898 was not the hottest of their lifetime. 

Mansfield was unsparing of himself and he was unspar- 
ing of others. Everything he had and everything he hoped 
for was at stake. Struggle and desperation were in the 
air. Nearly every one in the cast resigned or was dis- 
charged over and over again. Mr. Palmer's days and 
nights were devoted to diplomacy, and thanks to his 
suavity the heady heat of the day before was forgotten in 
the cool of the next morning. 

An actress of international reputation and experience 
was engaged for Roxane. Rehearsals were under way 
when she resigned by cable. The Orange Girl's single 
line in the first act was being rehearsed by a young 
Canadian girl, Margaret Anglin. Mansfield had not seen 
her act but he remarked the wondrous loveliness of her 
voice and his intuition told him she had temperament. 
"Can you make yourself look beautiful enough for 




RICHARD MANSFIELD AND HIS BABY BOY, GEORGE GIBBS 

MANSFIELD 



i8 9 8] MARGARET ANGLIN 317 

Roxane?" he asked. "I think I might, if you can make 
yourself look ugly enough for Cyrano," she answered. 
The part was hers on the instant. He coached her 
relentlessly. Again and again she cried that she could 
not do it. He reassured her, but not with soft persuasions. 
"You can, my dear, and you must. Now, again!" After 
rehearsals she went regularly in tears to Mr. Palmer to 
resign. He appealed to Mansfield to be more lenient. 
"I am only kind," was his reply. 'Roxane is a great 
part. Only one who has suffered can play such a role. 
This girl has the temperament and the emotions, but she 
is young and inexperienced. I cannot persuade her 
spirit, I must rouse it." And every day she reached new 
depths and new heights. 

Rehearsals, for all the brittle tension, were not without 
their humour. Details introduced suddenly into a play 
distressed Mansfield and drove the words of his part 
helter-skelter. It was his custom to use any important 
accessory to the appearance of a character at rehearsal 
for a week or more. Cyrano's huge sword, his feathered 
hat, and his projecting nose promised difficulties. The 
effect may be imagined when Mansfield appeared dressed 
in all points like a contemporary exquisite but wearing the 
sword, bonnet, and nose of Cyrano. 

As was his method always, he came on the orchestra 
floor to direct the colouring, lighting, and grouping of 
scenes. When a cue was given for him to speak he replied 
from his position in the auditorium while the other 
players addressed the vacant spot he was supposed to 
occupy on the stage. 

The first time the musicians came to play their entr'acts 
he stood down stage watching a change in the scenery. 
The tempo caught his ear. He took the orchestra in hand 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 



[1898 



at once. Too tired to stand he sat on a stump from 
Roxane's garden. An amusing figure he presented, half 
Mansfield, half Cyrano, beating time, singing the air, 
halting, admonishing, repeating, all with his native 
energy entirely oblivious of the humorous effect. The 
musicians responded with telling effects, and after half an 
hour he returned to the direction of the scenes, lights, and 
acting. He was in every sense the presiding genius of his 
enterprises and conceived and perfected every detail which 
contributed to a performance and a production. 

At last, the night of his great hazard! Noon had been 
August in its heat. Night brought no perceptible relief. 
It was summer's last stand. All day the stage was 
empty, dark. He was in his dressing-room before six 
o'clock. Before the overture he came out for a moment 
to view the setting and lighting of the theatre of the 
Hotel de Bourgogne. He was made up but not yet 
costumed the head of Cyrano on the body of Mans- 
field. He moved as one in abstraction, his eye was dull 
and sad, his lips loose and curled, as in distress; he spoke 
to no one, saw no one, glanced once at the picture and 
turned back to his cell. At the door his servant handed 
him a folded bit of paper. On it were the good wishes of 
his friend Benjamin Harrison who had timed a trip from 
his Indiana home to be present. 

The play l was announced for 7.45 o'clock, but at that 



1 The cast was: 

Comte de Guiche . 

Comte de Valvert . 

Christian . 

Cyrano de Bergerac 

Le Bret . 

Captain Carbon de Castel-Jeloux 

Ragueneau 

Ligniere . 

First Marquis . 

Second Marquis 



Mr. Arthur Forrest. 
Mr. F. A. Thomson. 
Mr. William Courtenay. 
Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Mr. J. W. Weaver. 
Mr. Francis Kingdon. 
Mr. A. G. Andrews. 
Mr. Fred. Backus. 
Mr. Damon Lyon. 
Mr. Edwin Belden. 




u 



m 

K 



h 
u 



^ 
j: 



1898] 



A NERVOUS START 



hour half the audience was in the procession of carriages 
extending for blocks up Madison Avenue. The streets 
about the theatre were crowded. Speculators received 
as high as thirty dollars for a pair of seats. 

At a quarter after eight o'clock the curtain rose and the 
spectators strolled simultaneously into the two theatres 
the real and the mimic. The first act was played in the 
midst of confusion. Mansfield was nervous and over- 
anxious, and he acted with studied deliberateness. He 
was never again so little representative of what he intended. 
The delightful improvisation punctuated by sword play in 
the Ballad of the Duel went for little. He had not much 
skill with the foils and screened his shortcomings behind 
a complete circle of spectators. The vivid pantomime of 
this swaying mass as it followed the combatants did not 
atone for the loss of the Ballad. His art responded, how- 
ever, to the score of moods in the long speech describing 
his nose, and he swept the end of the act to a spirited con- 
clusion. 

Ragueneau opened the second act briskly with his 
cooks and poets. Andrews was delightful as the senti- 
mental baker. The airy lightness of the Recipe for 
Almond Cream Tarts could not have been surpassed. It 
was in the Cook-shop that the soul of Cyrano first spoke, 
in those vibrant sighs with which he accompanied Roxane's 
declaration of love for Christian. A different emotion 



Third Marquis 

Montfleury 

Belrose 

Jodelot 

Cuigy 

Brissaille . 

Busybody 

Light Guardsman 

Doorkeeper 

Tradesman 

His Son 



Mr. Clement Toole. 

Mr. William H. Griffith. 

Mr. Douglas Stanfield. 

Mr. Gage Bennett. 

Mr. Woodward Barrett. 

Mr. Douglas Jeffreys Wood. 

Mr. Kingdon. 

Mr. Charles Quinn. 

Mr. Dwight Smith. 

Mr. Cecil Butler. 

Mr. Edgar J. Hart. 



320 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 



[1898 



coloured each wordless breath. A moment later he 
masked his heart again under the ferocity of his Gascon 
pride. Fluent transition from mood to mood was one of 
Mansfield's finest gifts. The return of the cadets, the 
arrival of the Comte de Guiche and his suite, the crowd- 
ing, curious mob that packed the shop, composed a superb 
picture. The verses of the presentation of the cadets was 
his own translation. He packed it with consonants and 
bristling syllables, especially in the terminals, so that the 
words crackled like the splutter of musketry: 

These are the Cadets of Gascoigne, 
Of Carbon de Castel-Jaloux, 
Brawlers and liars the throng, 
These are the Cadets of Gascoigne! 
Brag halbert and rapier and thong, 
With blood that is bluest of blue, 
These are the Cadets of Gascoigne, 
Of Carbon de Castel-Jaloux. 



Pickpocket 

Musketeer 

First Guardsman o the 

hold . 

Second Guardsman 
Sentinel . 
Capuchin Monk 
First Poet 
Second Poet 
Third Poet 
Fourth Poet 
Fifth Poet 
First Pastry Cook 
Second Pastry Cook 
Third Pastry Cook 
Fourth Pastry Cook 
Fifth Pastry Cook 
First Gambler . 
Second Gambler 
Drunkard 
First Cadet 
Second Cadet . 
Third Cadet . 
Fourth Cadet 
Fifth Cadet 







Mr. 






Mr. 


Roy 


al H 


ouse- 






Mr. 






Mr. 






Mr. 






Mr. 






Mr. 






Mr. 






Mr. 






Mr. 






Mr. 






Mr. 






Mr. 






Mr. 






Mr. 






Mr. 






Mr. 






Mr. 






Mr. 






Mr. 






Mr. 






Mr. 






Mr. 






Mr. 



Augustin McHugh. 
A. Stryker. 

Harry Lewis. 

Wm. Sorelle. 

Alfred Hollingsworth. 

Griffith. 

Hart. 

Lewis. 

E. Ordway. 

Robert Schable. 

Smith. 

Maxwell Blake. 

Neva. 

Claggett. 

Robert Milton. 

J. F. Hussey. 

R. De Cordova. 

Joseph Maylon. 

J. Westly. 

Butler. 

Thomson. 

Lyon. 

Sorelle. 

Stryker. 



1898] THE CADETS OF GASCOIGNE 

Eagle-eyed, spindle-shanked all, 
Cat-whiskered, teeth of the rat, 
Happiest only in brawl, 
Eagle-eyed, spindle-shanked all! 
Striding with gay feathers tall, 
Hiding the holes in the hat, 
Eagle-eyed, spindle-shanked all, 
Cat-whiskered, teeth of the rat! 

Dub them pierce-paunch and punch-pate! 

Ha! that is their gentlest renown! 

Sodden with glory and hate, 

Dub them pierce-paunch and punch-pate! 

Where there's a fight in the town, 

You'll find the lot early or late. 

Dub them pierce-paunch and punch-pate! 

Ha! that is their gentlest renown! 

I present the Cadets of Gascoigne, 
An amorous, chivalrous crew; 
Ye virgins, so priceless in song, 
Beware the Cadets of Gascoigne, 



321 



Sixth Cadet 
Roxane . 
The Duenna . 
Lise 

Orange Girl 
Child 
Flanquin . 
Champagne 
Mother Margaret de 
Sister Martha . 
Sister Claire 
First Actress . 
Second Actress 
Third Actress . 
Fourth Actress 
Soubrette . 
First Page 
Second Page . 
Third Page 
Fourth Page 
Flower Girl 



Je"sus 



Mr. C. Short. 
Miss Margaret Anglin. 
Miss Ellen Cummens. 
Miss Helen Glidden. 
Miss Bertha Blanchard. 
Miss Bessie Harris. 
Miss Van Arold. 
Miss Methot. 
Miss Blanche Weaver. 
Miss Mary Emerson. 
Miss Helen Ford. 
Miss Mabel Howard. 
Miss Claire Kulp. 
Miss Lucy Harris. 
Miss Alice Chandler. 
Miss Nora Dunblane. 
Miss Angela McCaull. 
Miss Mary Blythe. 
Miss Clara Emory. 
Miss Fernanda Eliscu. 
Miss Grace Heyer. 



Nuns, Ladies of Quality, Gentlewomen, Actresses, Scullery 
Maids, Cadets, Noblemen, Pickpockets, Apprentices, Towns- 
people, Spanish Soldiers and Lackeys. 



322 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1898 

Champions for right or for wrong; 
Sound clarions, coo-too, cuc-koo! 
Cheer lustily! Ring bells, dong, dong! 
I present the Cadets of Gascoigne! 

The well-rehearsed enthusiasm of the players was antici- 
pated and drowned by a volley of applause from the audi- 
ence. It was as if a thousand hands reached across the 
footlights to grasp Cyrano's. The No-thank-you speech 
was answered with another fusillade. His tortured self- 
possession in the face of Christian's insults to his nose drew 
every one to his chair's edge and the sacrificial bargain 
of the homely wit and the fair numskull dimmed every 
eye. The curtain fell amid cheers. Supporting himself 
against the arch Mansfield bowed again and again. 

For half an hour the audience had forgotten the heat 
which beaded their foreheads. In the midst of that 
sputtering gossip that betokens the aliveness, the interest 
and pleasure of an assembly, they now flowed out under 
the Moorish arcade to catch a whiff of air. The sense of 
the humid, breathless night returned to them. Mans- 
field closeted himself for his change of costume. His 
great experiment was to come. 

The third act is played in a square before Roxane's 
house. It was an exquisite blending of soft light and long 
shadows. Miss Anglin during her short scene on the 
balcony was a revelation. Her feeling intelligence illu- 
minated every line. Her voice caressed and lulled the 
ear. No one who heard it forgot the ecstasy of 

I tremble, I weep, I love thee, I am thine 
Aye, drunk with love! 

From that moment she was known. 




RICHARD MANSFIELD IN "CYRANO 
DE BERGERAC" 

From a photograph, copyright, iSgg, by the Celebrity 
Photo. d~ Art Co. 



i8 9 s] AN EFFECT IN FALSETTO 323 

Mansfield revealed new phases of his art in this love 
trio. He was better in this than in any other love scene 
he had ever acted. He had no belief in himself as an 
amorous figure. Passionate sentiment embarrassed him, 
but on this tangent of self-sacrifice he dared pour out 
his unrestrained soul. Though the passage was operatic 
in the blending of the voices, it was less so than the suc- 
ceeding scene in which Cyrano stays De Guiche from 
interrupting the wedding with his fantastic pretence of 
having dropped from the moon. 

Rostand indicates that Cyrano should mark the differ- 
entiation in his accent by speaking like a Gascon. This 
was plainly meaningless if not impossible in English. 
Mansfield chose to denote the unearthy character of this 
visitor from the moon by chanting the verses in a wierd 
silvery falsetto. It gave an indescribable poetic signifi- 
cance to the scene. The audience was transported. He 
took a barytone register in later performances as some 
people complained they missed the lines. It was a mis- 
take to do it. No words could conjure the phantasy of 
that limpid falsetto. 

Except for the balcony scene the play until the fourth 
act is largely an interrupted monologue. The camp 
scene drew out the quality of the ensemble. Every one 
responded nobly. Forrest made De Guiche a courtier of 
elegance and a warrior of mettle. Courtenay's frank 
charm won sympathy for Christian in spite of the dullard. 
Mansfield blended Cyrano into the vivid panorama. The 
act was spirited and moving, and culminated in a graphic 
spectacle of the battle on the ramparts. All the principals 
came before the curtain and the applause had not quieted 
when it rose on the last act. 

It was past midnight. After the martial scenes the 



3 2 4 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1898 

autumn loveliness of the convent garden fell like a quiet 
benediction. The entrance of Cyrano was marked by 
one of Mansfield's imaginative touches. His dress was 
black. Two nuns in white supported the injured man. 
His bowed face was shadowed by his plumed hat. As 
he rested back in the huge red chair he raised his head. 
The first view of that visage, wan yet kind, sorrowful, but 
smiling, the mask of one unmistakably marked for death! 
gave the note of final tragedy. During the scenes of 
gossip and disclosure the sun tones softened and moon- 
light bathed the garden. The intensity of Mansfield's 
own restraint was not less here than the tension of the 
audience. In moments of great emotion Mansfield some- 
times lost control of the muscles of his eyes. Uncon- 
sciously they became slightly crossed. The effect was 
hypnotic. This often happened when he felt the delirium 
of Cyrano's death rising within. Shaken with a great 
tremor he struggled to his feet, brushed aside the friendly 
arms and threw himself for support against an oak. Erect, 
rigid, the wild stare in his eye, his trembling fingers at 
arm's length straight before him pointing at the vision, his 
voice icy with the breath of Death, he greeted the con- 
queror: 

He comes! I feel already shod with marble, 
Gloved with lead. 

Then restraint flew asunder. His long sword fought the 
phantoms with unleashed frenzy and he released his 
soul with the sigh of an unsullied conscience. 

As the curtain fell the house rose and cheered. The 
ovation lasted nearly a quarter of an hour. Having 
removed the make-up of Cyrano he appeared again and 
again, and finally spoke his thanks. When he returned 




RICHARD MANSFIELD IX "CYRANO DE 
BERGERAC" 

From a photograph, copyright, iSoo, !>y the 
Celebritv Photo, i-' Art Co. 



,898] EFFECTS OF SUCCESS 325 

from the footlights the last time he found the way to his 
dressing-room blocked with friends. Others followed 
them and the stage was soon alive with people eager to 
congratulate him. 

Was Cyrano his greatest acting ? At least this per- 
formance was the most significant of his career. With it 
he scaled the summit at last. 

But it was not in his nature to be content. So when he 
finished one thing he turned to another. Failure fur- 
nished its own reason for renewed effort. But he had 
mercifully few failures, now he had come into the plenitude 
of his authority and the maturity of his powers. 

He would not heed to the sweet caresses of praise. He 
coveted them but felt he dared not indulge himself in 
the luxury. With the exception of those of one or two 
writers he seldom read a criticism except when it was 
brought to his attention. The day after a triumphant 
first night he would ask with the humility of a school- 
boy who has sent in his modest thesis to the board, "Well, 
how goes it?" Glowing reports may have stimulated 
him, but he met enthusiasm and satisfaction with, "Yes, 
this is all very well, but what are we going to do next ?' : 

It was not that he was a pessimist. He believed in 
unlimited potentiality. He had his head erect, his eyes 
hopefully on the future, his mind confidently fixed on new 
achievement. Nothing but the most extraordinary self- 
confidence would have permitted him to indulge in the 
prodigious undertakings which were the commonplace of 
his career. 

But he never allowed contentment to set its seal upon 
him. So when he realised what he had accomplished 
with "Cyrano de Bergerac" his new fear was that he 
should not be able to maintain himself on the heights. 



326 RICHARD MANSFIELD [i8 9 s 

It was now no longer so much to achieve as to maintain. 
"Where is the successor to Cyrano to come from?" 
If he but knew, none was needed. Authority was now 
his. The public henceforth accepted him in everything 
he offered. 



CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE 

(1899-1900) 

On tour as Cyrano A twilight performance in Richmond and a 
"milkman's matinee" in Texas The Gross suit Letters to 
his wife "The Richard Mansfield Company as Pirates" Mrs. 
Mansfield acts Raina for one night only Anecdotes Kidnap- 
ping a naval officer Feeding a gourmand Monotony of excite- 
ment Nervous collapse Off for a cruise Audiences. 

MANSFIELD might have remained at the Garden 
Theatre indefinitely. Nearly as many people paid to 
stand up during his engagement there as had bought seats 
when he presented "King Richard III" at Palmer's Theatre 
a decade before. But the monotony of a run fretted him. 
His nerves demanded the variety of travel, new faces, new 
audiences, the exhilaration of conquering more cities. He 
would not even listen to the offers of capitalists who wished 
to build him theatres because they entailed long seasons 
in New York. 

He left the Garden Theatre after eight weeks and he 
played "Cyrano de Bergerac" exclusively throughout the 
season of 1898-1899, and only a few evenings did he act 
any other role until the autumn of 1900. 

His Cyrano tours were like the progress of royalty. 
His special train was made up of eight cars and was 
bulletined as it advanced toward each new city. The 

327 



328 RICHARD MANSFIELD [iS 99 

newspapers sent reporters and photographers out hundreds 
of miles to meet him, interview him, and picture him. 

Speculators travelled weeks ahead on their own itiner- 
ary. They posted pickets in the line before the box office 
who held their position two and three days in order to get 
first choice of seats. These tickets later yielded them as 
high as ten times their face value. People now not only 
paid any price to see him, but seemed willing to endure 
any inconvenience. The last night in Philadelphia three 
men presented themselves at the box office for seats. They 
had come some distance and had means only for cheap 
tickets. None was to be had at the theatre at any price. 
A speculator had one seat left. He asked ten dollars for 
it. The trio had just four dollars and a half among 
them. They offered this and after some bickering it was 
accepted. The problem of how three men were to see the 
play on one ticket was met in this way. One went in for 
the first act. His pass check was handed number two 
who saw the second act. The remaining man saw the 
third act. They matched coins for the remaining two 
acts. 

On the trip through the South only the largest cities 
were visited. This necessitated some long jumps. Rich- 
mond was scheduled for one night, Atlanta, over five 
hundred miles away, for the next. Here was a problem. 
It required many hours to mount the Cyrano settings. 
The special train could make the distance in fifteen 
hours. The only way to keep both engagements was to 
begin early in Richmond and late in Atlanta. The night 
the Virginia capital saw Cyrano it dined at five o'clock 
and the curtain rose at half after six. Atlanta was not 
invited until nine o'clock. 

A Texas storm, however, resulted in the most novel ex- 



i899] "A MILKMAN'S MATINEE" 329 

perience of the tour. Axle-deep mud in San Antonio 
delayed the special train from a scheduled departure, 
from two in the morning until six. The next city was 
Fort Worth, where Greenwall's Theatre was packed at 
the curtain hour, 7.45 o'clock, when Mansfield's train 
was just drawing into town. 

His manager went to the theatre with the message that 
it would be impossible to play for it would probably be 
midnight before the scenery and baggage could be 
unloaded, hauled to the theatre, and bestowed for use. 
Mr. Greenwall called several influential townsmen in the 
audience about him for conference. The orchestra played 
lustily while the improvised committee dashed away in a 
carriage to argue with Mansfield. The mayor of the city 
w T as the spokesman: 

"Mr. Mansfield your visit to-night has been anticipated 
for months, to us it is the event of years. The theatre is 
packed at record prices. People have come great dis- 
tances to see you to-night. There is an audience awaiting 
you that represents the highest compliment this city can 
pay an artist. That audience will wait all night if need 
be to see you act. Don't disappoint us." 

"Your compliment leaves me no alternative," replied 
Mansfield. 'The performance will of course be given." 

Work began at once. The explanation of what had 
happened was received by the house with cheers. When 
the return of money was offered to any who preferred not 
to make a night of it, three people accepted. They lived 
at a distance and their train left before twelve o'clock. 

The mechanics worked like trojans. The costume 
trunks, were placed first and the players dressed. As 
quickly as a scene was hauled to the theatre it was set up 
and the act was played. The first curtain rose shortly 



330 RICHARD MANSFIELD [is 99 

after half-past ten! Cyrano died at twenty minutes before 
three in the morning! 

Dawn grayed the east as reloading began. Mike, a 
bibulous, watery-eyed gas-man whom Mansfield retained 
for years in recognition of an early sacrifice, was overheard 
in the midst of the confusion to remark oathsomely: 
"Well, this company has done nearly everything in its 
day, but this is the first time I ever knew the Chief to play 
a milkman's matinee." 

The effect on Mansfield of the new adulation was curi- 
ous. Instead of exalting his pride and hardening his 
reserve, he thawed and mellowed. For years, though 
fighting aggressively, personally he had been on the 
defensive. Cordial acknowledgment of his position now 
dissolved the necessity of his defence. 

His spirits rose as his debts lightened, for as soon as the 
immediate obligations for the production of "Cyrano" were 
paid, eight hundred dollars were applied each week to the 
balance of one hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars he 
owed for his experiments in London and with the Garrick 
Theatre. This weekly instalment was paid for seven 
years, and in 1905 he had the supreme satisfaction of hav- 
ing paid every dollar he owed. 

There was little growth in Mansfield's art or his per- 
sonality. Both seemed mature in their early expression. 
The Baron Chevrial of the young man of twenty-five was 
as well imagined and as finished as any later creation. 
The King Richard which was acclaimed when Mansfield 
was forty-eight he declared was no better than the neg- 
lected Gloster of sixteen years before. He would probably 
have given the same performance of Cyrano, Ivan, or Gynt 
at thirty that he did later, for his genius seemed to have 
sprung full-flowered into being. Has it not been said 



i8 99 ] THE CYRANO SUIT 331 

that a great artist moves in a cycle of masterpieces of 
which the last is no more perfect than the first ? Mans- 
field's consciousness of this in the first years of his public 
life embittered him somewhat toward a neglectful public. 
He was frank in his resentment and hence, in the middle 
period, those curtain speeches he was later grateful to 
have forgotten. His career was less his own develop- 
ment than the awakening of the public to an appreciation 
of him. The change was less in him than in them. 

The "Cyrano" triumph was not, however, without its 
alloy. The first move from the Garden Theatre was to 
Chicago, and Mansfield woke up there an early January 
morning in 1899 to find himself a co-defendant with 
Rostand in a suit demanding accrued royalties and enjoin- 
ing further performances of the play! A Mr. Charles E. 
Gross claimed that "Cyrano de Bergerac" was a theft 
from a play which he had written. 

Was it a joke ? Rostand would not accept it in any 
other light. Mansfield soon found that apart from the 
merits of a case it was somewhat expensive to parry a 
rich and aggressive plaintiff, but he could not impress 
Rostand with this serious view. So after he had sent the 
French author ninety thousand francs in royalty and he 
still refused to come forward and assist in relieving the 
embarrassment which was wholly Mansfield's on a charge 
against himself, Mansfield decided to deposit future 
royalties pending a settlement. He fought Rostand's case 
for five years without assistance or thanks. In the end 
Judge C. C. Kohlsaat, of the United States Circuit Court 
for Illinois, ratified a "consent decree" that Mansfield 
could not act "Cyrano de Bergerac" without paying Gross 
one hundred dollars royalty on each performance! 

When the Gross suit was first brought Mrs. Mansfield 



332 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1899 

was ill at their Riverside home and her husband cheered 
her with daily letters which related in whimsical fashion 
the adventures of "The Richard Mansfield Company as 
Pirates" after they had been enjoined from playing 
"Cyrano." 

At the top of the first letter he drew a picturesque villa 
on a cliff by the sea, with a yacht at anchor, and this 
he refers to in the following: 

MY DEAREST: This is our home by the sea. How do 
you like it ? I have just bought it for forty dollars, and the 
yacht you see at anchor, for five dollars more! I think she 
would do for a "pirate," and I suppose I shall want some 
occupation, if only you won't worry when I am away 
"pirating." There are about forty acres of land charm- 
ingly cultivated with oranges, olives, etc., and a spring 
runs through the grounds. There is a large cave at the 
foot of the cliff where we can hide treasure. We are 
having some barrels made for the gold, and the pearls and 
other jewels I think I shall sew up in strong canvas bags. 
... If only the baby likes it. ... How grand it is 
to come home with all this money and jewels acquired by 
strict dishonesty! What a spice and flavour it gives to 
our happiness! When I think of all the people I've 
killed and the ships I've sunk the shrieks of the women 
and the gurgling cries of the drowning men I can't help 
laughing. What tales we shall be able to tell of an even- 
ing when the lights burn low. . . . You will have to 
light the signals when I'm expected home. I couldn't 
trust any one else to do it. As it is, you will have to be 
very careful. The entrance to the cove is very narrow 
and I shall have to steer entirely by your beacon fires. 
Then, darling, when everything is stowed away in the 
cave and I have washed away the blood, we will sit down 
to our evening meal with grateful hearts. . . . I'm so 
impatient for this tour to be over, it is so awfully monot- 
onous and I am so tired of prancing about the stage 



ST. NICHOLAS HOTEL, 

EUROPEAN PLAN. 
EDWARD N. ROTH. 



Cincinnati, 







y*>^ r 

<^\ 



? ' : ' ^- J- 
A lizxd 



cA-i 



r. 

( < 






' 



A DRAWING AT THE HEAD OF ONE OF MR. MANSFIELD'S LETTERS 



i8 99 ] THE PIRATE BUSINESS 333 

dressed up as Cyrano de Bergerac. I'd rather be a 
pirate. I got tired of being shot at in the fourth act and 
now I take a gun myself, and I've already shot four men. 
It's the only fun I've had. 

The second letter explains how they came to go into the 
pirate business: 

... In order to have you understand, dearest one, 
how we fell into the sad plight of being pirates and the 
wickedest and most sanguinary criminals the world has 
ever beheld, it is necessary to go back a few weeks. It is 
futile at this late date, when we are so far in blood "that 
sin will pluck on sin," to load the burden of our wickedness 
upon Gross of Chicago yet there is no doubt that had 
he not brought forward his preposterous claim to the 
authorship of "Cyrano de Bergerac," and actually secured 
an injunction restraining me and my "Company of 104 
men and women" from pursuing our peaceful calling we 
should never have become the terror of the sea, the 
scourges of the world. When the injunction fell upon us 
like a stroke of lightning out of a clear sky ... I could 
see nothing before me but utter and complete ruin. Law 
it might be that accomplished this, but it certainly was 
not equity. How could I be responsible for a play written 
by Rostand and the coincidental similarity of one scene 
to a play written twenty years ago by Gross of Chicago ? 
With a child five months old to provide for and a sweet 
wife lying ill at home, was I to sacrifice, without a blow, 
the work of a lifetime ? I was mad, insane with the in- 
justice of it. I wandered along the wharf, and it was 
then that the inspiration (from the devil, no doubt) came 
to me of breaking all the laws of man, once and forever. 
(Is it not the Law that has driven so many men to be- 
come lawless ?) My eyes roving over the forest of masts 
were attracted to a sign, "Schooner for Sale" -fastened 
to the rigging of what I could even then discern to be a 
remarkably fine model of a two-masted schooner. . . . 
I hardly know whether the thought which had crossed my 



334 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1899 

mind had framed itself into a resolution before I was 
crossing the gang-plank and in conversation with a short, 
thick-set man, who wore corduroy breeches and a pea- 
jacket, with his neck closely muffled in a red scarf. I 
went all over the schooner. She had been built by an 
eccentric man who had made her his home, living on her, 
and trading from port to port. The shipmaster told me 
that this person had died the foregoing week, that he had 
been immensely rich and had spared neither money nor 
pains to perfect the schooner in every possible way. I 
have ever been hasty in action (with much cause for re- 
gret), and when I crossed the gang-plank for the shore I was 
the owner of The Priscilla and a matter of twelve thousand 
dollars the poorer. . . . 

. . My first care now was to gather the company to- 
gether in order to place my scheme clearly before them. 
I therefore dispatched my secretary in search of Tommy 
Yore, the call-boy, and he, being found seated discon- 
solately upon a pile of baggage containing costumes, which 
were now of no use, received orders to bring the company 
at once to my hotel. It was about four o'clock in the after- 
noon when this was accomplished. Of course, every one 
in the assemblage had heard of the injunction, and al- 
though actors do not, as a rule, sympathise with one an- 
other's troubles, I could read much anger and a great 
deal of anxiety (for the apprehended loss of salary) on 
every face. The company was therefore in a proper mood 
to receive my proposition. My speech was about as fol- 
lows: "My friends, owing to the action of a certain Gross 
of Chicago and the miscarriage of the law we are without 
any ostensible means of support. The season is well 
advanced; it is impossible for any of you to secure other 
engagements, and it would be futile for me to attempt to 
produce another play even if I had another. I have 
decided, therefore, in the face of the gross injustice 
of which we are the victims, to cut loose from all law 
and to plunder humanity as humanity has plundered 
us. I have secured a beautiful vessel, now at anchor in 
this harbour. Upon this I design to raise the blood-red 



IMAGINARY ADVENTURES 335 

flag of a pirate, and those of you who wish to join me, 
raise your hands." I had expected opposition con- 
sternation but I was little prepared for the yell of delight 
that burst from every throat. The women especially 
seemed delighted with the prospect. After the enthusiasm 
had somewhat abated, at least in its vocal expression, I 
continued: "Of course, the most profound secrecy is 
necessary. Should any one of you, even in his sleep, mur- 
mur one word of our purpose, the gallows awaits us all. 
Remain quietly at your lodgings until I have made every 
preparation for our departure. I have to collect arms and 
ammunition, provisions and stores for a long cruise and 
our first care will be to find some island in the South Seas 
which is not inhabited, where we may leave the ladies 
whilst we are away on our business. This island we shall 
use as a depot, a rendezvous, and a home. It will, of 
course, have every appearance of a peaceable settlement. 
Therefore we will sail in search of this spot at once, and 
having built our houses and having set our affairs in order 
we can then begin in downright earnest to treat the world 
as it has treated us. Let all the men who have been to 
sea and know anything about handling a ship, step out!" 
To my astonishment nearly every one of the men came 
forward. This delighted me beyond measure. For, as I 
had studied navigation very thoroughly, there was now no 
difficulty whatever in the way of the successful operation 
of my scheme. Telling my stage manager, Mr. Graham 
(who is an excellent sailor) to take the men in hand and 
show them the schooner, the location of which I explained 
to him, I dismissed all hands in order to see about the 
arming and victualling of the vessel. . . . 

A letter describing one of their imaginary adventures, 
the capture and sinking of a steamer, is headed by a sketch 
of the schooner sailing away from the sinking vessel with 
a warship looming on the horizon and begins: 

. . . There is a warship showing her masts and funnels 
over the sea-line, and we must fill our sails and be off 



336 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1899 

although it is a very serious question whether we shall be 
able to avoid her. It's unfortunate we had to sink the 
steam yacht after taking everything of value out of her 
but there was no other course. As soon as we sighted the 
man-of-war we knew that she would speak the yacht and 
be after us. It's horrible to have to sacrifice so many 
lives, but, after all, charity begins at home. Now we can 
just swear that we were trying to help the yacht and that 
she blew up before we could come to her assistance. One 
old lady, who seemed to be a very strong swimmer, swam 
right up under our counter and begged to be taken on 
board poor thing, she had evidently worn a wig, for her 
head was quite bald. I was about to throw her a rope 
when a shark swallowed half of her and the other half was 
no good. Don't worry, she is happy now, and so is the 
shark, and it's an ill wind, etc. You don't mind my tell- 
ing you everything ? It won't excite you, will it ? 

The steam yacht was a very handsome one, fully 150 feet 
long they had one gun, but it wouldn't go off, and they 
were so surprised to see a pirate in these days that we did 
just as we liked with them. As soon as they hauled down 
their flag and lay to I manned the cutter and went on 
board. I was very handsomely dressed and made up. I 
wore a black velvet bicycle no, bicycle oh, damn! 
suit, with a scarlet sash and a large black sombrero with a 
peacock feather, long black hair, and a small black 
moustache. All the pirates said it was very becoming, 
and they cheered me as I rowed off. I had eight men in the 
boat besides the coxwain. The men were dressed in 
white velvet and green sashes, and were very proud. The 
coxwain (Tommy Yore) had on the Catesby suit of ar- 
mour, and all of them had on the Richard III wigs. . . . 
But the force of habit is very strong, and Tommy was 
stupid enough to call the quarter of an hour (and you 
know how loudly he calls it) just as we fetched the star- 
board gangway. For a moment I thought all was lost. 
I corrected him by yelling "way enough," and two of the 
men caught crabs, which was amazing. The passengers 
even began to laugh, but they soon stopped when they saw 



i8 99 ] MORE ADVENTURES 337 

how heavily we were armed. I shall not take Tommy 
again. He yelled 'Beginners for the first act" and 
"Overture" and "all up" just as we were swarming over 
the side, and it made me feel so ridiculous. However, I 
stood quite still as the owner of the yacht advanced and 
really very politely inquired as to what he was indebted for 
the honour of the visit. I replied that necessity knew no 
law. That, owing to an injunction obtained by a person 
named Gross of Chicago, we had become pirates in order 
to live that I had " 104 people" and "four cars of scen- 
nery" (the last slipped out before I could stop myself, 
but he didn't seem to notice it). He asked whether he 
could ransom the yacht. I told him that I should be 
happy to oblige him, but it was necessary for our future 
safety and success that they should all die and that we 
scuttle the yacht. He asked for a few minutes to consult 
his crew. I granted his request, and he then told me that 
they had determined to die fighting rather than go down 
in cold blood. He began at once by making a dig at me 
with an ugly looking pen-knife with three blades and a 
corkscrew, but Graham threw himself before me and 
received all the corkscrew full in the breast. Poor 
Graham, he went down without speaking a word. I 
instantly knocked the captain down, and after that the 
crew and the guests surrenderrrrrrrrred ! I ordered them 
into the large saloon, and Dillon went through their 
pockets and made up the house. We've got a lot of 
jewelerrrrry and about $2,500 in money. . . . Somebody 
shrieked out that a man-of-war was in sight. You ought 
to have seen us get off that yacht. Bogey, 1 however, had 
the forethought to make holes in the sides of the ship with 
a skewer, and we barely had time to leave her before she 
keeled over and disappeared. Poor things! But it's 
Gross's fault. ... So don't worry, darling, we are all 
right, and I dare say I shall make as much money as if 
we had kept on playing Cyrano. I shall now keep along 
the coast of Algiers, and I hope to take some rich prizes. 

1 A. G. Andrews. 



338 RICHARD MANSFIELD [i8 99 

It is now time to turn in. We are divided into watches, 
but Forrest refuses to watch. I don't know what to do 
of course we must have discipline. I think I shall have 
to murder him. I don't like it but one has to do these 
things when one is a pirate! 

The great number of performances of "Cyrano de 
Bergerac" by the stock companies in the cities he was to 
visit worried him for fear they would prejudice or satisfy 
the interest in the play, and he could see only the lack of 
ethical sense in the situation and he talked often and long 
at supper of the injustice put upon him. But Francis 
Wilson's announcement of a "Cyrano de Comic Opera" 
found him in a lighter vein. 

In the first act of the play Cyrano enters the theatre 
of the Hotel de Bourgogne unobserved and when Mont- 
fleury, the chief actor, appears he discloses himself and 
drives him from the scene. Thus Mansfield, one night 
at supper: "So Wilson is going to play Cyrano? Well, 
this is what I shall do. I will buy a box for the opening 
night. I will conceal myself behind the curtains, but I 
will wear my costume and make-up as Cyrano, nose and 
all. When Wilson appears on the stage I will step for- 
ward, shake my stick at him and call out as Cyrano does 
to Montfleury, 'Rascal, have I not forbidden you to 
appear?' ' and he burlesqued the rest of the scene from 
the play in a deliciously comic vein. 

When he returned during his second season for a mid- 
winter engagement at the Garden Theatre, he revived a 
half dozen of the lighter plays of his repertoire. At this 
time he acted "Prince Karl" once and for the last time. 
But he omitted the musical parodies, judging them infra 
dig., though he often repeated them at home when friends 
pressed him. 



i 9 oo] A REVIVAL BY REQUEST 339 

The diversion that delighted him most during this 
engagement grew out of a question at one of his supper 
parties. "Why doesn't Mrs. Mansfield act any more?" 
asked some conspirator. 

" Dick won't let me," bantered his wife. 

"What a fib," retorted the host. "My stage, my 
scenery, and my company are at your disposal any time 
you choose to make your rentree, and I will be your lead- 
ing man." 

His offer was accepted on the spot and it was decided 
she should repeat her delightful performance of Raina in 
"Arms and the Man." He restudied Captain Bluntschli 
after four years for this occasion. To the echo of the 
loving enthusiasm of the audience which assembled in 
the Garden Theatre, January 8, 1900, Beatrice Cameron 
Mansfield gracefully bowed herself from the stage for 
the last time, and her husband never acted Bluntschli 
again. 

The cast was much the same as previously, except for a 
delightful young Irishman, Prince Lloyd, who was to act 
Sergius SaranofF. Lloyd did not at first catch the Shaw 
spirit. 

At the end of the comedy Captain Bluntschli having 
confounded every one by his assurance marches out of 
the room. Sergius is the only one who can find his voice 
and before the curtain falls he exclaims: 'What a man! 
What a man!" Lloyd gave the speech in tones of genuine 
enthusiasm. 

Mansfield turned suddenly beyond the two chairs which 
at a sceneless rehearsal define a doorway: 'Try to say it 
hopelessly, helplessly, contemptuously." 

'I thought it was admiration," pleaded Lloyd. 

"My dear fellow," rejoined Mansfield, "don't let your 



34 o RICHARD MANSFIELD [1900 

personal feeling for me influence your judgment of a 
character!" 

He seldom resisted an opening for a retort. At these 
rehearsals an actress was one day nervously fumbling 
her lines and he taxed her. She grew quite serious: 

"Mr. Mansfield, I know this part backward." 

"Yes, my dear lady, I can quite believe it," he answered, 
" but that is not the way I wish you to repeat it." 

When he left New York this spring it was to go almost 
directly to New Orleans where the levee was his first 
haunt. He never lost the boy's love for the water. 
Wherever he went his first walk took him to the water- 
front where he wandered for hours among the shipping, 
quizzing the seamen and picking up many a good yarn at 
first hand. The writer accompanied him on the tramp 
up and down the New Orleans waterfront this first after- 
noon in the Creole city. 

"I'm tired to death of this Gascon with his long snout 
and interminable speeches, I must have some fun or I'll 
go mad," he declared as a prelude to a scheme which w T as 
blossoming as he stepped along. "We must find a boat, 
a jolly roomy two-master with a small engine, and hire 
her for the week here. Thomas 1 will transfer the silver 
and linen from the car, and we can set up as pirates right 
out in the middle of the river. The Parkers are here. 2 
To-morrow night we'll have them aboard for supper. 
About two in the morning they'll start to go. We'll urge 
them to stay. They'll insist, go on deck, and discover 
that we have quietly weighed anchor and slipped down 
river toward the Gulf. Now wouldn't that be sport, 
kidnapping a naval officer, eh ? And what a sensation for 

1 His steward. 

2 Captain John F. Parker, U. S. N.. a brother-in-law of Benjamin Harrison. 




RICHARD MANSFIELD AS CAPTAIN BLUNTSCHLI IN "ARMS 

AND THE MAN" 

From a photograph by the Baker Art Gallery, Columbus, O. 



FEEDING A GOURMET 341 

sleepy old New Orleans! 'Mysterious disappearance of 
the Commandant of the United States Navy Yard! 
Richard Mansfield missing too! No trace! No clew!' 
Eh ? Then toward dusk the next afternoon we'll sail up 
to the city again and present ourselves as mysteriously 
as we disappeared." 

During a three-hour search he worked himself into 
quite a fret of disappointment because no sailing master 
would turn himself out and lease his craft for a week, but 
he had the full measure of enjoyment out of the kid- 
napping lark in the mere consideration of it. Presently 
it will be discovered, in his frolics with his boy, how well 
developed he had that agreeable faculty of being able to 
amuse himself by sheer romancing. For this reason, 
though he was continually conceiving practical jokes he did 
not feel the necessity of carrying them out. There is, how- 
ever, one amusing instance when he went to that length. 

It came about in this way. Mansfield was famous for 
his hospitality. Even when he was away from his own 
home or from his private car he secured miracles from 
hotel chefs. On one occasion in Boston he invited a Mr. 
X- - to dine with him in his apartment at the Somer- 
set Hotel. 

'You'll have a hard time pleasing X- ," said an 
acquaintance, "he prides himself on his judgment of 
food, he loves it with the passion of a FalstafF." 

"I feel the responsibility of dining so celebrated a 
gourmet as you," said Mansfield as they sat down to 
table. "I hope my modest menu will disclose something 
you will enjoy. The steward assures me the Cherry- 
stones are only an hour off the express. Then what do 
you say to a bit of smoked Sigui de la Neva? It's delicious, 
done properly." 



342 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1900 

"Very nice," replied his guest. 

"A pot au feu?" 

"Excellent." 

"A fillet of French sole ? Veronique ?" 

"Splendid!" 

'The chef has promised me a Russian Entree, Scha- 
schlicks Tartarski, which few experts give the final touch. 
Eh?" 

"Superb!" 

"A Canvasback, fonds d'Artichants a I'ltalienne, 
salade barbe de Capucin, a morsel of cheese, black coffee, 
and anything else you wish." 

"Magnificent!" exclaimed X - with emotion. 

Then the comedy began. At sight of the oysters Mans- 
field ordered them off the table at once. "I was dis- 
tinctly promised fresh oysters. Bring the relish." The 

Sigui was served with much flourish. X got not so 

far as a first mouthful. Mansfield swept it away with 
further protests: "Don't touch it, my friend, don't touch 
it. It will poison you. Bring the soup." The steaming 
pot au feu filled X- -'s nostrils with delight, but not 
his stomach. 'This is too terrible," exclaimed Mansfield 
to the servant. 'How dare you serve such food? It's 
simply warm water and salt. Take it away." 

"It smells delicious," protested the hungry X . 
'My dear fellow," retorted his host, "I couldn't think 
of having you eat such food at my table. No, I insist, 
take it away." Off went the soup. In like manner came 
the entree, duck, vegetable, and salad. The Boston 
Falstaff was allowed to feast his eye and tease his nostrils 
when, in spite of his despairing, Mansfield would order 
each dish away as an offence he could not possibly endure. 
From first to last he kept up a flow of good humour, 



i9oo] MONOTONY 343 

anecdotes, and snatches of song as if to cover the embar- 
rassment of the situation. Finally the last dish had been 
served, but neither had had a bite to eat, and fervent in 
apology, Mansfield led the gourmet away from the table a 
crushed and famished man. 

Repeatedly, during the winter and the spring of 1900, 
he complained of sleeplessness, and, when he did fall 
asleep, of awakening suddenly to find himself bathed in 
perspiration. His nervousness increased and his voice at 
times dried up and was controlled only with the greatest 
effort. He saw many specialists and though none gave 
him relief one made an impression by his diagnosis. 

"You are dying of monotony," said this man. 

"Monotony?" exclaimed Mansfield, "but there is 
everything in my life except monotony. It is all excite- 
ment. I live on excitement and enthusiasms. The 
excitement of new characters, new cities, every night new 
audiences to please, new friends and old friends to meet 
and greet every day. There's no monotony in this." 

"On the contrary," replied the physician, "that is the 
most insidious of all monotony the monotony of excite- 
ment. It's the monotony that is the curse of American life." 

Mansfield was impressed, but he gave no heed until it 
was too late. He succumbed temporarily, however, in 
March when his throat failed him as a result of nervous 
exhaustion. Though he waited from day to day in the 
hope that he could play, the doctors ordered a complete 
rest and the tour closed prematurely. The last perform- 
ance of "Cyrano de Bergerac" he ever gave was seen at 
the Grand Opera House in Cincinnati, the first week in 
April. He tells of his immediate plans in a letter written 
from New London, May 9, to John L. Lincoln: 

"I am starting on a cruise from here to Maine, etc., on 



344 RICHARD MANSFIELD [ I9 oo 

the 26th of this month and I am wondering whether it 
would be possible for you to come along ? Ned Appleton, 
a brother of my friend Robert whom you met, is coming 
with me, and he, like myself is suffering from nervous 
exhaustion and the results of overwork and overworry. 
Now if you could join us we should be three of a kind 
and we could sit on deck and glower at one another 
anyway it would be delightful. I've got a schooner, 
91 feet long and proportionately wide and strong and a 
good crew, and I am inviting an old sea-dog of a captain 
from Blue Hill, Maine, to come along, and as he can eat 
more than five ordinary men and lie better than twice 
that number, I am looking forward to some fun. More- 
over since he left the sea he has gone into the patent- 
medicine business and I've told him to bring a goodly 
supply of pills and other nostrums, liquid and solid. I 
am still very shakey and any severe work gives me a 
headache. However, I expect to be all right next sea- 



son.' 



He was resolved on what his next production should be 
and devoted most of the summer to planning the details. 
In the midst of his preparations he was induced to write 
his impressions of audiences for Collier s Weekly. The 
article is unique in more senses than one. He was not 
accustomed to express himself as to what related to 
himself. The frequent question: 'Which is your fa- 
vourite role ?" was parried with "Is not a father's favour- 
ite child the last one on his knee?' : When his ideas 
of one of his roles was asked, he replied, "My perform- 
ance is my essay on a character. I am an actor, not a 



writer.' 



He was much sought after by editors for his views, 
however, and a schedule found among his papers doubt- 



i 9 oo] AUDIENCES 345 

less indicates the headings of a series of essays he would 
have written had he had the time: 

The Two Roads. The Easy Road. 

The Man who Plays Character Parts. 

The Strain on the Nerves. 

The Actor and Actress in Private Life. 

The Advance Agent and His Methods. 

The Long Road to Success. The Hardships. 

The Dream and the Awakening. 

Misconceptions and Misrepresentations. 

The Dignity of Silence. 

The Popularity of the Foreign. 

The Difficulty of English. 

But, in spite of this reserve about his emotions and ex- 
periences he did in the opening paragraph of the article 
in Collier s (October 6, 1900), give an intimate description 
of his attitude toward audiences: 

Audiences ? Audiences ? You ask me about audi- 
ences ? Some years ago, I don't know how many years 
ago about the time that I made my first independent 
(or shall I say very dependent ?) ventures and audiences 
were scarce I should have answered you glibly enough. 
Indeed, I thought I knew all about audiences, just as 
once upon a time I thought I knew all about lots of things, 
including the art of acting. But now Let me see- 
Audiences ? 

Yes, to be sure, those are the things we play to. Eh ? 
The sombre shadow on the other side of the footlights. 
You ask me what it is like what it seems to me. I tell 
you it is a black mass, a monster outside there on the 
other side of my little world. It seems to me to be waiting 
there to devour me. I suppose some day it will kill me 
because I have nothing more to give it. That monster 
waiting there every night has to be fed. Sometimes I 
think it is insatiable. I give and I give and I give, and it 



346 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1900 

sits there intent, waiting for more. How punctual!}- it 
comes for its food now! A long time ago I desired it 
very much for a pet. What infinite pains I took to teach 
it to come to me! How shy it was! Its shadow fell only 
in mottled spots here and there in the great house, and I 
would have the lights turned low that I might not see the 
great white or red splashes of seats that the welcome dark- 
ness still failed to hide. 

I fed it and fed it and fed it, and I fretted and fumed 
when it was not there, and I gave it my best tidbits every 
night, every night, all I had. And I was as pleased as a 
child when it stamped and barked and growled for more. 
So now it has grown plethoric during the last two years 
and fills the walls beyond the footlights with its fat shadow 
and laps over into the lobbies and stairways. There it is 
always at eight, or earlier. And I must be there. I wonder 
as I drive down to face it if I can feed it still. My heart 
beats and my breath comes short. Ah, I wonder if that 
monster has a heart. Is there a great heart in that great 
audience ? Does it love me ? Or is it only there to be 
fed ? And when I am worn out and drop down, and it 
goes out hungry to drag itself elsewhere for its nightly food, 
I wonder whether it will bestow a passing thought upon 
the little man in the limelight that threw his life to it every 
night, every night, across the footlights, to be shredded and 
torn and chewed, swallowed, and digested ? 

Does it know what I am suffering as I stand there be- 
fore the first few words find their way through the dry and 
choking passage of my throat ? Do you know what it is 
to me to face that monster ? I wonder is it kind to-night, 
and in a good humour, or will it quarrel with what I can 
give it ? It is always the best I have. I go marketing for 
it, and then cook it into some new and fanciful dish, and 
make it appetising, and season it and serve it daintily. 
What an Epicurean monster! So many heads, with so 
many ways of thinking. 

How differently do different monsters affect me! The 
instant I step into the limelight I know, by some faculty 
of perception which is my own, whether the monster is 



i9oo] CONFIDENCES 347 

friendly. I can tell. I could put my ringer here and 
there across its dusky back upon the spots of disaffection. 
And I see no face, no feature clearly. It is all that great 
dark mass, inert, breathing heavily, waiting for its food. 
If it only knew! Knew what? How shall I tell it? 
Will it ever wake up ? Can I make it feel ? Will it weep 
with me ? Will it laugh ? Will it get drunk with me ? 
Drunk with champagne! Shall we have a revel together 
-or will it crouch there, slow and heavy, and just feed ? 
Must I drag it to its feet by main force and give my all, 
my all to-night, and lie afterward exhausted and awake ? 
or will it inspire me and give me strength ? Will it exude 
magnetism and the thrill of genius ? Will it make me live 
and delight in living, happy and proud that I have made 
it happy, at once my child and my God ? Can I make it 
my confidant, my friend ? Will it know what is in my 
heart ? May I tell it ? It is my sweetheart when I love it, 
and that is when it lets me love it, and my cold and freezing 
enemy when its face is stone. Think, think what all this 
is to me, to us, to all of us shall I say ? 



CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX 

(1900-1901) 

"King Henry V His reasons for producing it Rehearsals under 
difficulties The production Mansfield interprets the char- 
acter He writes of the condition of the stage in America 
Coquelin on Mansfield's achievement with "King Henry V" 
Amenities Paraphrasing speeches. 

MANSFIELD manifested little sympathy with the prob- 
lem plays which were now beginning to receive some 
attention on the stage. He did not depreciate the pro- 
fundity, the sincerity of purpose, or the technical skill of 
Ibsen and his disciples, but in their works which came to 
his attention at this time they seemed not to be for him. 
The poetic plays of Ibsen were quite another matter. Of 
these he was an unqualified admirer. He lamented their 
eclipse by the sociological dramas and he made it part of 
his plans one day to act either "The Pretenders," 'The 
Vikings," or "Peer Gynt" and call attention to this neg- 
lected and, to him, most admirable phase of Ibsen as a 
literary artist. In another direction the stage was inun- 
dated with the tinsel and jingle of musical comedy. 

Shakespeare's " King Henry V" was his own next essay, 
and in the preface to his acting version he referred paren- 
thetically to the new type of drama in giving his reasons 
for reviving this poetical history: 

The inducements that led me to produce "Henry V 
were a consideration of its healthy and virile tone (so dia- 

..48 



i9oo] 'KING HENRY V 349 

metrically in contrast to many of the performances now 
current); the nobility of its language, the breadth and 
power of which is not equalled by any living poet; the 
lesson it teaches of godliness, honour, loyalty, courage, 
cheerfulness, and perseverance; its beneficial influence on 
young and old; the opportunity it affords for a pictorial 
representation of the costumes and armour, manners and 
customs of that interesting period, and perhaps a desire to 
prove that the American stage is, even under difficulties, 
quite able to hold its own artistically with the European. 
The ambition of my stage career has been to prove the 
superiority of the American stage and the American actor; 
and I maintain that to-day against all those who pretend 
the contrary. But perhaps I was influenced beyond any 
other reason by the desire to drag Henry V out of a slough 
of false impressions that had materially affected his im- 
personation on the stage. 

Another fortune went into 'King Henry V." Few 
expected to see it come out again. If he was not sanguine 
then he did not mind, for not once did he falter, though 
unforeseen circumstances enhanced the difficulty and 
expense of realising this martial panorama. 

The production was first announced to open his season 
and that of the Garden Theatre on Monday evening, 
October i. This, by the theatrical etiquette usually ob- 
served in such instances, placed this stage at his conveni- 
ence for rehearsal during the months preceding, without 
which it is doubtful if he would have undertaken so vast 
an enterprise. 

With the preparation well under way it was learned, 
however, that another play would be acted in the Garden 
Theatre beginning September 17. Thus was he left with- 
out a stage on which to gather and mount the nineteen 
stage settings, or to rehearse the two hundred and fifty 
players, choristers, and dancers who were to appear. 



350 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1900 

The situation was a critical and embarrassing one, for 
August and September are months which find every stage 
in demand for rehearsals. Mansfield did not make any 
further contracts for the Garden. 

Under the circumstances every one displayed the kind- 
liest forbearance. Madison Square Garden was rented. 
The choristers were drilled in the concert room in the 
south-west corner. Lines indicating the dimensions of the 
theatre's stage were chalked off at each end of the floor 
of the Garden proper. At the Fourth Avenue end the 
ballet were taught the rhythm of their dance. At the 
Madison Avenue end the players with lines were rehearsed 
in the text of the play. 

In course of time it became imperative to bring the 
scenery from the studios and set it upon a practical stage 
so that the perspective might be observed, details might be 
corrected, the schedule of the swift mounting, breaking, 
and stacking of the hundreds of curious pieces into which 
the pictures dissolved might be perfected and lighting 
effects studied under practical conditions. After an almost 
fruitless search a theatre was rented in Williamsburg, and 
as fast as Marston finished his beautiful pictures they were 
hauled across East River. The players next were called 
to Williamsburg to adjust their "business" to the settings, 
and eventually the choristers, dancers, and supernumer- 
aries made the daily pilgrimage to fit themselves in the 
pictorial mosaic. 

The opening night was advanced to Wednesday, Octo- 
ber 3. The mechanics got possession of the Garden 
stage Sunday and the first dress rehearsal began at seven 
o'clock Monday evening. The confusion was indescrib- 
able. The facilities of the Metropolitan Opera House 
would not have seemed more than were required for so 



i 9 oo] REHEARSALS UNDER DIFFICULTIES 351 

many people and so much scenery and paraphernalia. 
Mansfield's autocratic discipline held the forces together, 
but at two in the morning every one was worn out and on 
the verge of collapse. At that hour he dismissed the 
rehearsal in the middle of the third act. 

The play was taken up at this point again at seven 
o'clock on Tuesday night and carried to a conclusion a 
little before one in the morning. "Henry V" was never 
rehearsed through in one day. No one dared ask at what 
hour the audience might expect to be sent home! There 
was universal despair. 

On Wednesday night it was acted for the public. Here- 
after it will not be necessary to refer to the quality or size 
of Mansfield's audiences. His appearances at all times 
henceforth were the most elegant and distinguished events 
of the season, and his first nights assembled the critics of 
most of the important papers east of the Mississippi 
River. The curtain rose at 7.45 o'clock, and by virtue of 
his discipline and the intelligent response of the humblest 
contributor to the vast undertaking, the performance 
moved spiritedly to a final curtain shortly after midnight! 1 



1 The programme read: 

King Henry V ..... 

The Duke of Gloster, brother of Henry V 

The Duke of Bedford, brother of Henry V 

The Duke of Clarence, brother of Henry V 

The Duke of Exeter, uncle of Henry V . 

The Duke of York, cousin of Henry V 

The Earl of Westmoreland 

The Earl of Suffolk . 

The Earl of Warwick . 

The Earl of Salisbury . 

The Earl of March . 

The Earl of Cambridge ^ conspirators 

Lord Scroop of Masham > against 

Sir Thomas Grey ) Henry V 

Archbishop of Canterbury 

Bishop of Ely 

Lord Fanhope 

Sir John Blount . 

Sir John Asheton 



Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Mr. Ernest Warde. 
Mr. Malcolm Duncan. 
Mr. B. W. Winter. 
Mr. John Malone. 
Mr. Arthur Stanford. 
Mr. C. C. Quimby. 
Mr. E. H. Sheilds. 
Mr. William Sorelle. 
Mr. G. H. Davis. 
Mr. J. H. Lee. 
Mr. C. H. Geldart. 
Mr. Woodward Barrett. 
Mr. F. C. Butler. 
Mr. John C. Dixon. 
Mr. Salesbury Cash. 
Mr. J. F. Hussey. 
Mr. W. J. Green. 
Mr. M. Hutchinson. 



352 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 



[1900 



It was another triumph. Audiences caught the infec- 
tion of Henry's exhortations to his army, they responded to 
the waving banners, flashing armour, and jubilant crowds, 
and vied with the mimic throngs in cheering the handsome 
young King. Mansfield's Harry of Monmouth was set 
like a gem in what was described on all sides as the most 
ornate environment the English-speaking stage ever saw 
in a theatre. But superb as was the spectacle of the 
Courts of England and France with their pages, retainers, 
nobles, and royalty; the slum backgrounds for the wag- 
geries of Nym, Bardolph, Pistol, and the Boy; the quay 
at Southampton with the English fleet fretting its anchors; 
the tumultuous siege of battlemented Harfleur; the 
changing views of Agincourt field culminating in the vast 
hillside of fighters and horses in the tableau of the 
battle; the welcome which the London throngs gave the 
returning hosts and their victorious King; and finally the 
espousals of Harry and Kate before the French and 
English Courts in the Cathedral at Troyes, its magnifi- 
cence was all efFected without sacrifice to the dramatic 
movement. 

The fourth act was an interpolation after the pre- 



Sir John Mowbray 

Stanley . . 

Sir Thomas Erpingham "\ 

Gower . . / officers in 

Fluellen . . > Henry V's 

Macmorris . . I army 

Jamey ... ) 

Williams, soldier in Henry V's army 

Bates, soldier in Henry V's army 

Pistol } soldiers in Henry V's 

Nym > army, formerly servants 

Bardolph ) to Falstaff 

Soy, servant to above . 

English Herald 

Charles VI, King of France 

Louis, the Dauphin of France 

The Duke of Burgundy 

The Duke of Orleans . 



Mr. Wm. Robbins. 

Mr. W. E. Peters. 

Mr. James L. Carhart. 

Mr. J. Palmer Collins. 

Mr. A. G. Andrews. 

Mr. Chas. J. Edmonds. 

Mr. Augustine Duncan. 

Mr. Joseph Whiting. 

Mr. J. A. Wilkes. 
( Mr. W. N. Griffith. 
< Mr. Wallace Jackson. 
' Mr. B. W. Turner. 

Miss Dorothy Chester. 

Mr. P. J. Rollow. 

Mr. Sheridan Block. 

Mr. A. Berthelet. 

Mr. Mervyn Dallas. 

Mr. Richard Sterling.. 




RICHARD MANSFIELD AS KING HENRY V 

From a photograph, copyright, 1900, by Ruse e" Sands 



1900] 



AN ACT WITHOUT WORDS 



353 



cedent of Charles Kean representing in pantomime the 
return of the English hosts from the Battle of Agin court. 
The scene disclosed an open place at the Middlesex end 
of old London Bridge. Banners, flags, and garlands 
floated in the air. The streets, the bridge, windows, and 
house-tops were thronged with holiday makers. Against 
a background of pulsing music broke the cry of vendors, 
the mischievous shouts of boys, the buzz and laughter of 
the people, the blare of trumpets and the bells of West- 
minster and St. Paul's; and the Lord Mayor, and his 
scarlet and ermined suite, attended by the civic guard, 
passed on to the bridge to meet the King on the Surrey 
side and present the freedom of the City. The Guard 
returned and crushed back the crowd to make way for the 
procession. The Lord Mayor and his party returned from 
their errand of courtesy and occupied a booth to one side. 
Expectation sat in the air as a flourish of trumpets 
announced the head of the column. Company after com- 
pany of bowmen, archers, pikemen, miners, sappers, and 
other soldiers swept through the cheering multitude. 
Their clothes were ragged and stained by the 'hardships 



The Duke of Bourbon 
The Constable of France 
The Duke of Alencon 
Lord Rambures . 
Lord Granpre 
Archbishop of Sens 
Bishop of Bourges 
Governor of Harfleur 
Montjoy, French Hera d 
French Soldier . 
French Messenger 
Chorus 



Mr. Clement Toole. 
Mr. Prince Lloyd. 
Mr. P. W. Thompson. 
Mr. E. H. Vincent. 
Mr. W. H. Brown. 
Mr. J. E. Gordon. 
Mr. Bouic Clark. 
Mr. Stanley Jessup. 
Mr. Edwin Brewster. 
Mr. F. Gaillard. 
Mr. Edwin L. Belden. 
Miss Florence Kahn. 
Miss Georgine Brandon. 



Isabel, Queen of France 

Princess Katherine, daughter of Charles 

Ar and , Isa f be ' .' . - Mile. Ida Brassey. 

Alice, lady attending Princess Katherine Mile. Susanne Santje. 
Dame Quickly, a hostess, and Pistol's wife Miss Estelle Mortimer. 
Uvic and Ecclesiastical Dignitaries, Knights, Nobles, Pages, 
Ladies of the Court and other Attendants, Soldiers, 
Citizens, etc. 



354 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1900 

of the campaign, but their grizzled faces grinned the joy of 
home-coming. The ranks were broken and their files 
depleted in sad evidence of the price of the victory. At 
the head of each company marched its knight with a page 
bearing his shield and a standard bearer with his colours. 

There were cheers for every one, but the crowds signified 
their favourites and pelted them with flowers. Soldiers 
recognised familiar faces in the house-tops. A mother 
rushed out and kissed her son as he marched past. A 
young wife pushed through the lines to the embrace of 
her wounded husband and marched away with him. 
From the first a girl might have been seen scanning the 
features of the passing troopers, but her face showed that 
she did not find the one she sought. When half the army 
had passed, unable to restrain herself longer, she rushed 
out to an officer. He shook his head and whispered to 
her. With a cry lost in the pandemonium she fainted, was 



The scenes were as follows: 

Act I. Scene i A corridor in the Palace at Westminster. 

Scene 2 The throne-room in the Palace at Westminster. 
Scene 3 Exterior of the Boar's Head, Eastcheap, London. 
Scene 4 The quay at Southampton. 

Scene 5 Exterior of the Boar's Head, Eastcheap, London. 
Act II. Scene i A room in the Palace of Charles VI. 
Scene 2 The English intrenchments, Harfleur. 
Scene 3 The Duke of Gloster's quarters. 
Scene 4 Same as Scene 2. 
Scene 5 The French Palace at Rouen. 
Scene 6 A view in Picardy. 

Act III. Scene i The Dauphin's tent, near Agincourt. Night. 
Scene 2 The English lines, near Agincourt. Night. 
Scene 3 The English position at Agincourt. 
Scene 4 Part of the field of battle. 

TABLEAU THE BATTLE OF AGINCOURT. 

Scene 6 Part of the field of battle. 
Scene 7 The plains of Agincourt. After the victory. 
Act IV. HISTORICAL EPISODE THE RETURN OF KING HENRY V TO 

LONDON AFTER THE BATTLE OF AGINCOURT. 
Act V. Scene i Interior of the Palace at Troves. 
Scene 2 Troyes from the bridge. 
Scene 3 Interior of the Cathedral at Troyes. 
THE CEREMONY OF THE ESPOUSAL OF HENRY V TO THE 
PRINCESS KATHERINE OF VALOIS. 



HIS INTERPRETATION 355 

borne along in the crowd, her little tragedy scarcely 
noticed in the festivities. 

Following the troops came other knights and their 
suites. Every moment the crowd expected the King to 
appear but each break in the procession deferred his 
coming with some new diversion. The Dukes and 
Princes approached and lined the way for the King to 
pass between. Another flourish of brass promised his 
arrival. Instead a troop of maidens in flowing white 
danced forth from the bridge, waving palm branches as 
they floated through their figures. Another pause, and 
then a chanting choir of scarlet-vested cathedral boys 
preceded two groups of allegorical figures of English 
prophets and English Kings, the Bishop of Ely, the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury and their attendants, the Court, 
and finally amid the huzzahs of the multitude, the 
chiming of bells, the blast of trumpets, the roll of drums, 
the roar of cannon, and the flutter of a thousand extended 
hands King Henry on his white war horse rode into his 
welcome. 

Mansfield's interpretation of this so little appreciated 
character which he so graphically portrayed on the stage, 
he set out in his preface to the play: 

This role has for a long time been . . . supposed not 
to make any claims upon the intelligence or the heart of 
the artist. He (as an acting part) was supposed to be 
devoid of sentiment, finesse, variety, and feeling. Let us 
see how far this is the case. 

The student who approaches the character of Henry 
with a view to impersonation, will consider him, in look- 
ing with my eyes, something in this fashion: In the first 
act, in order not to disconnect the chain that still binds him 
to the Prince Hal of the preceding play, we must find him 
youthful, debonair, gracious, and yet with a new-born 



356 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1900 

kingliness and tact and state-craft, which, even after the 
utterances of the archbishop, surprise and interest. 

In the subsequent scene on the quay at Southampton, 
in the unmasking of the three traitors, Cambridge, Scroop, 
and Grey, especially in his address to his former bosom 
friend, Scroop, we at once strike a note of profound melan- 
choly and pathos: 'Thou that didst bear the key of all my 
counsels." Henry in his roistering days had come upon 
deceit and villainy and venality, but this was where he 
might naturally expect it; here, for the first time and in 
the very beginning of his reign, he stumbles upon treachery 
so hideous and lying so near his heart, as may well have 
shaken his very soul. This awakening, his horror and his 
grief, cannot be expressed by mere noise. 

We next find him exhorting his soldiers in clarion tones, 
or depicting to the city-fathers of Harfleur in lurid colours 
(worthy of an actor, a poet, or a painter) the horrors that 
would attend the pillage of their city. 

You will note that Henry is beginning to exhibit the 
many sides of a very versatile character. In the first act 
he was not all what he was in the second, and now in the 
third we have him in two different roles: first as the bril- 
liant captain and magnetic leader of men, and then as a 
very wily and eloquent pleader, for he infuses such terror 
into the minds of the citizens that they are moved to sur- 
render the town then and there, instead of protracting the 
siege a course which might have been fatal to Henry. 
Indeed, throughout this work we find Henry constantly 
swaying men by his reasoning and his powers of eloquence. 
He very rarely throws aside the mantle of the King and 
the manner of the good fellow and comrade, until alone 
at night by the camp-fire he and his bosom debate 
awhile, and he is led to speak of the emptiness of royalty 
and ceremony. This speech, which ranks with the finest 
of Shakespeare's, is one which to-day is almost beyond 
the comprehension of the average man. Indeed, it is in- 
teresting to observe that it is not much applauded for the 
reason that it is spoken entirely from the point of view of 
a king and Kings happen to be in a minority as the 



HOW TO WOO 357 

world is constituted to-day. In this soliloquy Henry 
refers to the fact that Kings do not sleep as well as the 
wretched slave (the working man) "who with a hody fill'd 
and vacant mind gets him to rest, cramm'd with distressful 
bread" and furthermore says that "such a wretch, 
winding up days with toil and nights with sleep, had the 
forehand and vantage of a King." As ninety-nine men 
out of a hundred sweat in the eye of Phoebus all day and 
wind up days of toil with nights of sleep, we cannot expect 
much sympathy from them for the lamentations of 
Henry. . . . 

Again, the student, unless he is very careful in his in- 
terpretation, will run upon a rock in Henry's beautiful 
prayer, "O God of Battles." My favourite stage motto 
is " II faut excuser Vauteur" -by this I mean that, no mat- 
ter how great the author, the actor must often disguise 
him and in a manner excuse him to his audience. If we 
come to consider this prayer of Henry's calmly, we find 
him reminding God of what he, Henry, has done to de- 
serve His favour and promising to do something more if 
God will favour him upon that day. He tells God that 
he has five hmndred poor in yearly pay and that he has 
built two chantries, and he will do still more if God will 
help him to thrash the French. This was all then the 
custom of those times. It was child-like faith and sim- 
plicity. But the actor's fervour, intensity, and simple 
treatment of this prayer must go far to helping out the 
author to-day. 

The most popular speech is the "St. Crispin," because 
it is easily understood by everybody. There are no pit- 
falls here. It needs only a breezy, wholesome, and whole- 
hearted delivery. In the last act I recommend an earnest, 
manly wooing of Princess Katherine, as I recommend to 
everybody an earnest, manly wooing of anybody that any- 
body wants to woo. If the actor has a slight appreciation 
of humour, " tant mieux." 

This was the character as he vitalised it in his perform- 
ance. It was to the interest he stimulated in royal Harry 



358 RICHARD MANSFIELD [i 9 oc 

that the pantomimic fourth act owed its very human 
climax. The audience shared with the mimic crowd its 
knowledge and love of the hero and entered enthusiasti- 
cally into the spirit of the ovation. 

Henry's appearances during the play were episodic and 
did not tax Mansfield as Cyrano and other roles had. 
During the course of the play, however, he w r ore seven 
different costumes and one evening in his dressing-room 
as Brown adjusted the wedding garments for his last 
scene, he turned a weary eye on the writer and said: "If 
this part kills me, you must inscribe on my tombstone, 'He 
died of buttoning and unbuttoning." 

The Princess Katherine of this cast was the daughter 
of Mansfield's sister Greta, for Ida Brassey was only the 
nom de theatre of Mile. Ida Batonchon. She had studied 
in Paris with M. Paul Mounet and M. Got. Her appear- 
ance in the one scene of "King Henry V the delightful 
wooing of French Kate by English Harry added a note 
of especial charm to the performance. After her one sea- 
son in America she resumed her professional career in 
France. 

Mansfield acted "King Henry V for eight weeks in 
New York and then on the largest stages of the eastern 
third of the continent throughout this season which 
embraced the last days of the old century and the first 
months of the new one. The passing of the nineteenth 
century was made the occasion of a symposium on the 
conditions prevailing, contributed to by the leading minds 
of the country, and published in the New York Herald. 
Mansfield was asked to write of the stage at the close of 
the nineteenth century. What he had to say was like 
him, more truthful than diplomatic because he did not 
believe that facts should be smothered by tact. From 



i9oo] THE AMERICAN STAGE 359 

the time he could make his voice heard on public ques- 
tions he had called attention to the provincial attitude of 
America toward foreign art. Happily he lived to see 
an independent judgment supplant it. An endowed 
theatre as already indicated in this narrative, had for 
years been his panacea for many of the ills of the stage. 
He reverts to both of these in his views of conditions as 
he saw them December 31, 1900: 

I am asked by the New York Herald to name the one 
thing, above all others, that should be eradicated from 
the stage of to-day to make it better, nobler, more ele- 
vated in its accomplishments in entering upon a new 
century. Presumably the New York Herald refers to 
the stage of America, or does it mean the stage of the 
world ? 

We have no stage in America. The American stage is 
the stage for all stages. Everybody comes here and every- 
body is made welcome. Herein lies the difference be- 
tween New York and Paris and London and other foreign 
capitals. Foreign actors and foreign authors make a 
great deal of money in America. It would be difficult 
for an American actor to make any money in Paris or 
London or Berlin or Vienna or St. Petersburg. American 
stage-craft is not honoured abroad. It should be. 

Concerning art, the American is neither patriotic nor 
exclusive. The foreigner is. As a matter of fact, Amer- 
ican art is as good as any art exhibited abroad. A great 
many Americans are not aware of this. They are in the 
habit of exalting the foreign to the prejudice of the domes- 
tic article. The average of good acting in the United 
States is greater than in any other country of the world. 
In short, the material is here. The future of the drama 
is here. What remains to be done ? Cease to seek and 
import plays from Europe. Encourage the American 
author. There are many men who would soon write 
admirably for the stage. 



360 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1900 

The ablest refuse to work for the stage at present be- 
cause they are well aware that they will be roughly handled 
by their contemporaries. Here we touch one of the most 
wretched phases of art life in America. The difference 
in the criticism of the foreign and home product may be 
briefly summed up thus: The foreign the critic searches 
arduously for the merits of play and performer. The 
domestic the critic searches arduously for the defects of 
play and performer. We can never have a stage here until 
we have a drama. We have actors who can play anything. 
Now we need authors who can write something. 

Rich men who give so generously to all philanthropic 
schemes, to universities, to schools, to hospitals, to na- 
tional monuments, to cup defenders and race tracks can 
immortalise their names by founding a national theatre. 
Here should be enrolled the best actors of America, or one 
of the best in his line, at the head of each department. 
Thereafter it should become a much-coveted honour to 
be elected a member of the National Theatre of America. 

This theatre should have its typical green room, contain- 
ing the pictures and marble busts of great American 
actors and playwrights, its stage library, its gymnasium. 
In this theatre only the classic tragedies and comedies and 
modern plays of undoubted literary merit should be pro- 
duced. This theatre should set the example to all other 
theatres in the United States in the production of its plays 
and the work of its players. The future of the American 
stage does not depend so much upon the eradication of 
evil, which is slight, as upon the need for the creation and 
utilisation of good, which is great. 

Bernhardt and Coquelin came to America in the fall of 
1900. Mansfield had met Coquelin when he went to 
London three summers before. He had then fancied that 
the French comedian was somewhat patronising and that 
he was made to feel the disadvantage of an almost exclu- 
sively American career. 



i 9 oo] COQUELIN 361 

The French artists, on their arrival, found Mansfield 
packing the Garden Theatre with Shakespeare's historical 
spectacle, " King Henry V." Coquelin came at once to see 
him. Although "King Henry" was in no sense a gauge 
of Mansfield's dramatic power, there were many in- 
dicative moments, and the authority of his performance, 
the magnificence of the panorama, and the adulation of 
the crowded theatre produced their effect on Coquelin. 
After the play he pressed back on the stage and into Mans- 
field's dressing-room, this time saluting him as " Mon 
confrere!" with exclamations of admiration and wonder. 
Coquelin having occasion to write him next day, said in 
his letter: "Again my compliments on your very beautiful 
production of 'Henry V.' Happy great artist who can 
attract his public to these serious works. Happy public 
which comes when its friend Mansfield calls it. We have 
not this happiness at home. Truly with all my heart I 
envy you. This envy augments my friendship. A vous, 

C. COQUELIN." 

Mansfield invited the leading artists in New York at 
the time to a supper at The Players to meet Coquelin. 
Later in the season they played at the same time in 
Chicago and he was then Coquelin's guest. 

As always, Mansfield was much distressed at the pros- 
pect of being entertained. If he sometimes made things 
difficult for others he was equally and unnecessarily hard 
on himself. He suffered every day until that supper was 
over. He had no desire to offend M. Coquelin or Mme. 
Bernhardt by refusing, but how could he go ? Would 
not the meal be late and he would be in an ill humour 
while hungry; the dishes were sure to be elaborate, just 
what he could not eat; he would insult them if he brought 
his own cigars, but how could he smoke others; he would 



362 RICHARD MANSFIELD [ 190I 

be expected to drink champagne which he loathed and 
there would be none of the 'Irish" which he loved; 
there would be draughts; perhaps they would humiliate 
him in placing him at table; his attempts at pleasantry 
were sure to be misunderstood, some one would be 
offended, etc., etc., etc. 

And it ended ? As always. He has his days of dread 
and his night of delight. His own little supper of things 
he could eat was served him immediately after the play. 
He arrived in a radiant mood, charmed every one, was 
pleased with the interest others took in him, enjoyed a 
remarkable evening but, next day he declared "I will 
never do it again." 

The American guests this evening listened with awe 
and deference to every word which fell from French lips. 
When Coquelin advantaged himself of this to assure them 
that there was one point in each of his performances which 
he selected for a nap, a nap before the very eyes of his 
audience "Oui, je dors, vraiment je dors. Je ferme 
mes yeux, et je dors." Mansfield saw the opening and 
put his foot in it. "Non" he replied, " non, mon Coque- 
lin, ce nest pas vous qui dormez, cest V audience T 

There was present a pretty, fluffy, chirping little Paris- 
ienne residing in Chicago and her husband whose dress, 
manner, face, and speech were the essence of all things 
boulevardier. They were friends of the French players 
and that night their pride in their nationality knew no 
bounds. Repeatedly she slipped in, parenthetically to be 
sure, the wholly superfluous assurance that she was 
French, she loved her France, she longed for Paris, she 
lived in exile, etc., etc., etc. When the dear little patriot 
recurred to this for the thirteenth time, Mansfield inquired 
across the table with roguish solemnity: "And your hus- 



i9oi] SLIPS OF THE TONGUE 363 

band, Madame, is he German ?" Next day he expressed 
the fear that he had not made himself entirely popular 
with Coquelin's compatriots. 

This spring Mansfield lost one of his old guard. Wil- 
liam N. Griffith took sick suddenly in Washington and 
did not recover. He had been a valued exponent of the 
mature comedy characters in Mansfield's casts for ten 
years, and he had acted Romeo to Mary Anderson's Juliet 
the night of her first appearance on the stage. 

His successor in the role of Pistol, was another ripe 
comedian, M. A. Kennedy, who furnished Mansfield one 
of his most amusing anecdotes. Kennedy had to assume 
the role on short notice, but he was full of assurances that 
the lines should not suffer as he had a quick study. The 
last spoken scene in Mansfield's version of ' King 
Henry V" was that amusing passage between Fluellen and 
Pistol in which the Welshman literally makes the braggart 
eat his words about the Welsh national emblem the leek. 
Poor Kennedy floundered unmercifully. The way he 
paraphrased Shakespeare's lines might have passed unob- 
served in less deliberate French farce, but he reserved the 
crowning absurdity for the final scene. Swaggering 
boastfully, he should have flaunted Fluellen with : 
"Hence! I am qualmish at the smell of leek!" instead 
of which he screwed his fat purple face into a comical 
grimace and shouted in a piping voice: "Go away! Go 
away! I never could stand the smell of onions!" It was 
not Shakespeare, but the original line never got such a 
laugh as this one. 

In illustrating the effects produced by altered lines 
Mansfield often paired this incident with Daniel H. Har- 
kins's amusing slip. In "A Parisian Romance" Harkins, 
from the time he and his wife entered the company in 



364 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1901 

1887 to the day of his death had always acted Dr. Chesnel. 
After the great scene at the end of the fourth act he rushed 
into the supper room and knelt over the prostrate body 
of the Baron to listen to his heart. Then raising his hand 
he called solemnly: "Stop that music. The Baron is 
dead!" The music hushed instantly and the curtain fell 
slowly in an awesome silence. The music in some towns 
was pretty bad. One night Harkins raised his hand and 
called solemnly: "Stop that music. You have killed the 
Baron!" And that night the curtain did not fall in silence. 
In the spring of 1901, Mansfield wrote Lincoln: 'I am 
doing an awful lot of hard praying these days, for Beatrice 
and my boy are on the sea." For the first and last time 
since their marriage, Mrs. Mansfield had crossed the 
ocean without him. She spent the winter on the Mediter- 
ranean, but returned in the early summer and during the 
vacation the little family was together in the Mead cottage 
at Southampton, Long Island. 



CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN 

(1901-1902) 

"Beaucaire" His benefit for the Actors' Home Mansfield and 
benefits To England on a holiday and back again He becomes 
a property-holder in New London and presents The Grange to 
his wife. 

WHEN Booth Tarkington's novelette, "Monsieur Beau- 
caire," flitted gracefully through McClure 's it was imme- 
diately obvious that the stage would entertain this hero. 
At the time the eye of every theatrical manager was fixed 
on the cracks in publisher's doors and the dramatists 
kept at least one finger on the pulse of the book trade. 
The novels of this week were the plays of next. 

In due time the author of " Monsieur Beaucaire," with 
the collaboration of Mrs. Evelyn Greenleaf Sutherland, 
expanded his little story into a play of four acts and it 
was sent to Mansfield. After Cyrano and Henry V he 
welcomed a character so witty and distinguished, yet as 
facile and restful as this Due d'Orleans, cousin of 
Louis XV, masquerading incognito in Bath. 

Philadelphia was anticipating its first new theatre in a 
score of years. While playing there the previous winter of 
1900-1901 Mansfield laid the corner-stone and named the 
house after his favourite actor, David Garrick, and ac- 
cepted Mr. Howe's invitation to open it in October, 1901. 
Thus it came to pass that Monday, October 7, of this 

365 



3 66 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 



[1901 



year, witnessed the dedication of the Garrick Theatre by 
Mansfield and the beginning of his own season. His 
dedicatory lines inscribed on the corner-stone are: 

Gently to hear, kindly to judge our play. 

-Prologue to Henry V. 
We'll strive to please you every day. 

Twelfth Night. 

In the foyer on Sansom Street Mr. Howe placed two full- 
length portraits in stained glass one of David Garrick 
and one of Richard Mansfield, each in the character of 
King Richard III. 

On this occasion Mansfield acted "Beaucaire" 1 for the 
first time he dropped "Monsieur" from the title for he 
had years before sacrificed one comedy to the difficulty 
which that word gives the American tongue. 



1 The cast was: 

The Duke of Winterset . 

The Marquis de Mirepois 

Lord Townbrake 

Sir Hugh Guilford 

Beau Nash 

Monsieur Beaucaire 

Mr. Molyneux 

Mr. Bantison 

Mr. Rakell 

Mr. Bicksett 

Captain Badger 

Joliffe 

Francois . 

A footman 



Servants, 

Lady Mary Carlisle 
Countess of Greenbury 
Mrs. Mabsley . 
Lucy Rellerton 
Mrs. Llewellyn 
Lady Betsy Carmichael 
Miss Markham 
Hon. Ida Fairleigh 
Mrs. Purlit 
Miss Paitelot . 
Miss Presby 
An old Lady . 



Linkmen, 



Mr. Joseph Weaver. 
Mr. Charles James. 
Mr. Arthur Berthelet. 
Mr. R. A. Geldart. 
Mr. Alexander Frank. 
Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Mr. A. G. Andrews. 
Mr. M. A. Kennedy. 
Mr. Ernest Warde. 
Mr. James L. Carhart. 
Mr. Joseph Whiting. 
Mr. J. Palmer Collins. 
Mr. Henri Laurent. 
Mr. Milano Tilden. 
Pages, etc. 

Miss Lettice Fairfax. 
Miss Sydney Cowell. 
Miss Ethel Knight Mollison 
Miss Dorothy Chester. 
Miss Myra Brooks. 
Miss Irene Prahar. 
Miss Kathleen Chambers. 
Miss Chalis Winter. 
Miss Margaret Dills. 
Miss Margaret Kenmore 
Miss Adele Claire. 
Mrs. Preston. 



'BEAUCAIRE" 367 

The spectacle of a popular and often distinguished 
player exhibiting his own personality in new dresses and 
in new situations is a familiar one. It was the last mark 
of a Mansfield performance. He appeared to be a differ- 
ent actor in each role. Variety was the spice of Mansfield. 
He went behind the externals in search of the soul of a 
character. If he did not find a soul there he tried to 
create one, and the essentials of the play became the mere 
trappings of something else much more real and vital in 
the central personage. 

It was this artistry which distinguished his Beaucaire. 
The dainty fiction presented no difficulties. It was sim- 
ple and direct, as obvious as it was charming. The actor 
in the title role might have presented the not unusual 
spectacle of a graceful figure who is elegant by the grace 
of elegant costumes, witty as his lines are witty, ennobled 
by the distinction of a title and interesting by virtue of 
the fable's ingenuity. He defined his characters by less 
ingenuous means. Make-up, costume, and speech he 
recognised as valuable assets in characterisation, but 
valueless except as illuminated by manner and bearing, 
and his cousin of the King of France was denoted by a 
bearing of high distinction and a manner of courtly polish. 
He emphasised with personality not with "props." 

Mansfield's Beaucaire was keyed to the amused sur- 
prise of a French Prince who discovers that English 
society does not always distinguish between a Prince and a 
barber, when the titles are mixed. This was easy enough 
satire for American audiences, but his own surprise was 
great when English audiences later fell victims to the charm 
of Mr. Tarkington's comedy entirely oblivious of its criti- 
cism of English discernment, which was the kernel of 
the whole affair. 



368 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1902 

After Prince Karl and Beau Brummell there was less 
height and depth, but more charm in Beaucaire than in 
any other of Mansfield's light-comedy characters. The 
other two were diversified by the shadow of apprehension 
or distress. Beaucaire met his crises with the blithe 
superiority of a magician reaching into space and pro- 
ducing nosegays. Mansfield acted the role for a season 
and enjoyed it, for he was universally admired as Beau- 
caire and it rested him after the fatigues of "Cyrano de 
Bergerac" and the confusion of the ponderous production 
of " King Henry V." 

In Boston he played for the first time at the Colonial 
Theatre, built on the site of his mother's studio, and he 
resided in the Hotel Touraine which had replaced the 
building which was his first home in America. 

When the Actors' Home was founded Mansfield made 
a generous contribution, but not until this winter did he 
realise a plan which he had cherished for this beneficent 
institution. The plan was to give a benefit entirely on 
the part of himself and his company. He was continually 
asked to lend his powerful name to benefits, but he con- 
sistently refused, not through lack of sympathy or of dis- 
position to be helpful, but because he did not feel that he 
could do his best or even well in the confusion of these 
occasions. He would not act on a stage that he could 
not control, for even there, such was his nervous condition 
while in the theatre, the most casual distraction upset 
him. Nevertheless he was unfailingly generous in his 
contribution to the funds. 

His benefit for the Actors' Home was given on the after- 
noon of January 21, 1902, the Tuesday of the last week of 
his New York engagement. He played five characters in 
entire acts from "Beau Brummell," "A Parisian Ro- 



FOR THE ACTORS' HOME 369 

mance," " Beaucaire," and "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." 
Mr. Harkins and Mr. Forrest volunteered to play Dr. 
Lanyon in ' Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," and Henri de 
Targy in "A Parisian Romance." Every one connected 
with the theatre and the company seconded Mansfield's 
efforts with hearty generosity. 

The occasion attracted national attention. The price 
of every seat was ten dollars from the orchestra rail to the 
top of the gallery, and boxes were held at one hundred 
dollars each. Friends in Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, 
and other cities, even in remote San Francisco, sent checks 
for three and four times the price asked, in many in- 
stances following long distances to be present. Thanks 
to these and other generous people, to the unstinted 
interest of the press, and the enthusiastic support of the 
fellow-members of his profession Mansfield was able 
on this occasion to enrich the Actors' Home fund by 
$8,800. 

The only exception to his rule not to appear in a promis- 
cuous bill off his own stage, was brought about by Miss 
Alice Fischer. She conspired with Mrs. Mansfield and 
met his objections with concessions which left him no 
ground for refusal. The occasion was the benefit for the 
Twelfth Night Club which took place at the Empire 
Theatre, October 11, 1894. 

He was told that his nervous anxiety should not be fed 
by long waiting, but within five minutes after he arrived 
at the theatre he should have the stage. When he 
reached the theatre Joseph Jefferson was entertaining the 
audience. Mansfield listened from the wings, and Jeffer- 
son, as he came off, shook his young friend's hand cor- 
dially. 'I'm glad they captured you," he said, "for I 
have never seen you act. I am going to stay." The 



370 RICHARD MANSFIELD [ Ig02 

comedian sat in a proscenium box and was one of the 
most interested and enthusiastic spectators. 

On another occasion Mansfield was invited to be the 
guest of the Twelfth Night Club. It is the custom of 
this society of actresses to entertain, once a month, some 
distinguished actor who is the only man present. No one 
believed he would come until the president, Miss Fischer, 
really appeared with him and proudly escorted him to the 
platform. 

A learned discourse and nothing less was expected from 
the intellectual and ambitious Mansfield. When the 
greeting subsided he rose, glanced over the assemblage 
and said: 'This is my idea of heaven the only man." 
Then instead of a dissertation on art he astonished every 
one by chatting for half an hour on "Cooks." 

He took advantage of his light work in "Beaucaire" to 
make a long tour and play late into the summer of 1902. 
It was July 4, when he acted this role for the last time. 
He drove from the stage of the Academy of Music in 
Montreal to the steamer, and early next morning sailed 
down the St. Lawrence and across the Atlantic to Eng- 
land. Mrs. Mansfield and his son Gibbs accompanied 
him and they settled for the summer in a rose-covered 
cottage near Weybridge. There he studied the Shakes- 
pearian role he was to act during the coming season, a 
role in which his originality was to set tradition farther 
aside than he ever ventured before. 

In the midst of his study an unsuspected condition 
developed in his business affairs at home and he was in 
America within six weeks after he departed. As quickly 
as he could he fled the heat of the city and sought the 
breezes of Pequot Point, New London. But he was lonely 

without his little family and cabled them to come at once. 











/^ "2. 
<" 
3> 



Z9 o] A COUNTRY HOME 371 

When he brought them to New London he indulged 
himself in one of those surprises which were his delight. 
No satisfaction would he give Mrs. Mansfield as to where 
they were to be bestowed until they drove up before 
a colonial farmhouse overlooking Pequod Point, the 
Thames, and the Sound for miles, and led her in. 

"Do you like it, Beattie?" he asked with the beaming 
enthusiasm of a boy who asks if you like his kite. 

"It's beautiful!" 

"It's yours." 

Then there were a thousand questions to ask and to 
answer, details to admire, improvements to observe, while 
he told how he had bought the old place just two weeks 
before, but there was no need to tell who had directed 
the transformation. His generous and distinguished taste 
was everywhere in evidence. 

Presently a scream from above. It was little Gibbs's 
voice. There was the glint of anxious inquiry in his 
mother's eye for a moment. His father smiled signifi- 
cantly: 

"He has found his room." 

Then they ran upstairs together and discovered the boy 
in the midst of a nursery full of toys, animals, cannon, 
wagons, soldiers, railroads, steam-boats, forts running 
excitedly from one thing to another in an ecstasy over 
his father's forethought. 

The Grange that was the name he gave the house- 
became their permanent country house. While away on 
tour he would design new effects, new decorations and 
additions and send them to Mrs. Mansfield who took the 
greatest delight in directing their realisation by architects 
and contractors and in anticipating his pleasure in them 
when he would return. In this way he altered and en- 



372 RICHARD MANSFIELD [ I9 o 2 

larged the house until it lost the last vestige of its original 
identity in a handsome modern country seat. Thereafter 
he spent a fortune in the various cities he visited picking 
up paintings, furniture, and rare art objects for this house 
until it became a veritable museum. He improved the 
little farm with lawns, drives, hedges, trees, arbours, gar- 
dens, and flowers, into a park of real beauty. Everything 
that he touched was stamped with his identity. At first 
his Wayfarer and later his racing schooner Amorita was 
anchored oflp the Point. His stables sheltered a half 
dozen fine horses. After boating and swimming, riding 
was his favourite sport. He did not fancy motoring. 
There was a car for Mrs. Mansfield but he got into it 
seldom, and then with instructions to the chauffeur that it 
must not be driven faster than a safe horse would trot. 

The entertainments at The Grange became as famous 
as those at his town house or in his car or apartments 
when on tour. In all points he lived the life of a country 
gentleman, with an elegance and distinction probably sur- 
passed not even by his beloved Garrick at Hampton. 




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CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT 

(1902-1906.) 

Mansfield and his boy Make-believe His love of children Letters 
to Gibbs An interview with Mr. Santa Claus Dinner with 
Mr. and Mrs. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table 
The campaigns of Wienerschnitzel and Dinkelspiegel Un- 
loading a cargo of love and kisses Gibbs's Christmas box. 

THE companionship between Mansfield and his boy 
was unusual and wonderful. The child's imagination 
developed from the time he could talk. It was elfish 
and fantastic, and it astonished those not quite in accord. 
The father understood it and it was through this faculty 
that he reached the boy. 

He and Gibbs were boon companions. So youthful 
was the father in his disclosure of himself to the boy and 
so profound were the assumptions of the youngster that 
Mansfield sometimes seemed to present the younger heart 
of the two. So happily did their imaginations complement 
each other that they indulged in extravagant vagaries by 
the hour without need to explain. 

"Gibbs," said his father out walking one day, "why 
are you sliding your feet ?' 

"I'm a steam-engine," replied the little fellow. 

'Then you need coal," and his father shovelled imagin- 
ary coal into the boy's pockets with an imaginary shovel 
until they were make-believe full. 

373 



374 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1902 

The engine went full steam ahead but soon Mansfield 
came upon him at a dead stand-still. "What's this, 
something broken ?" 

With perfect seriousness: 'Yes, sir." 

After a careful examination of ringers, neck, and elbows: 
"Of course, this engine needs oiling." Forthwith his 
cane became a long-spouted oil-can and poked all over 
the engine which directly flew ofF at lightning speed as, of 
course, any well-lubricated engine would. Next day this 
conversation would take place: 

"Good-morning, Gibbs." 

"Good-morning, sir." 
'What are you this morning?" 

"I'm a sea captain and my boat has two million head of 
cattle in the hold which my million of sailors" after an 
earnest pause "no, I'm a green grocer this morning, 
father." 

"Oh, well, in that case I want to complain of the cab- 
bages and artichokes which your man sent me yesterday." 

'The one with the red hair?" 

'Yes, sir. I think he nibbled the cabbages and I'm 
sure he choked the artichokes." 

After a concentrated moment to grasp this subtlety: 
'I'm glad you spoke about it. I felt he was a bad man. 
I've discharged him already. You know I want to keep 
your patronage, Mr. Mansfield. You're the best cus- 
tomer I have." 

'In that case send me a bushel of turnips and a few of 
your nicest grapefruit." 

"New ones in this morning." Hands imaginary fruit. 

Making pretence of examining imaginary grapefruit: 
; ' Much better than the last. Two, if you please. How 
much?" 




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i 9 ] WITH THE CHILDREN 375 

"Two hundred and fifty dollars." 

Without so much as a glimmer of a smile, he passes out 
make-believe payment. 'There you are." 

"Thank you. Here's your change." Thus make-be- 
lieve entertained them for hours. 

The fine occasions were when Gibbs invited his little 
friends to tea and a sail with the pirate chief on board the 
Amorita. Thomas, the steward, was instructed to pre- 
pare his best dishes, and for long periods the conversation 
was carried on in fierce and fiery pirate jargon. 

The spirit of youth hung over The Grange, for Mansfield 
had the heart of a child. Nothing delighted him more 
than to have young people about him. 'They do not 
prattle of yesterdays," he said. 'Their interest is all in 
to-day and to-morrow. So is mine." The great hall 
was added to provide a place for his young friends to 
dance and he was as light on his feet as any. 

One of the events of his summer came to be "his tennis 
tournament." He did not boast of his own playing, but 
this did not matter for he was only the host and umpire. 
His tournament originated one day in his discovery of a 
group of little girls on the shore in deep distress. They 
wanted to have a contest on the club courts at the Casino, 
but the club directors judged them too young to monopo- 
lise the privilege of their elders. "Come along with me," 
said Mansfield. He took them up to The Grange, turned 
his court over to them, umpired the games, gave the winner 
a silver cup and the losers each a box of Maillard's. That 
established an annual custom with him and with these 
same girls. They later gave him a moment of rare sweet- 
ness which repaid him in full. 

From the time Gibbs was five years old he and his 
father corresponded. The boy dictated his letters either 



376 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1902 

to his mother or to his governess, Miss Hunter. Mans- 
field's letters reveal a heart unguessed by those who fed 
themselves on the gossip about his vanity and unkind- 
liness. They will be read with no surprise by those who 
knew his boyish, whimsical nature. 

In 1902 on the way to the North Pacific Coast his train 
was held up near Pueblo, Colorado, by the spring rains 
and he was obliged to return to Colorado Springs. While 
there he wrote to his four-year-old son the first of the 
letters which have been preserved: 

PRIVATE CAR 80, 
COLORADO SPRINGS, May 27. 
MY DEAR, DEAR BOY: 

I received your beautiful letter, and I was proud to 
think that you could dictate it yourself. Of course you 
want to go fishing, so does your Dada, and also to go 
rowing, but he is sorry you do not want to play Indian. 
Playing Indian is great fun, for you carry a gun or a bow 
and arrow, and you lope all day long after somebody with- 
out stopping to eat or drink and, when at last you find 
this somebody that you have been looking for, you get 
down on your stomach and wriggle like a snake without 
making any noise until you reach him. Then you give a 
dreadful whoop and cut off his hair, if he has any, and 
hang it up in your wigwam, and are pleased. 

There are lots of other things you can do, but it is time 
for me to talk of something else now. I am sitting in my 
car and the lamps are lighted and are covered with pink 
shades, and outside it is raining (it wouldn't be pleasant 
if it were raining inside, would it ?), and the drip, drip, 
drip of the rain on the roof makes me feel very cosey and 
sleepy. If you were here I would give you some beautiful 
marbles to play with, and you could sit on the rug and 
roll them. 

To-day it rained so hard that all the little streams drank 
so much water that they grew and grew and grew until 




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i 9 o 3 ] LETTERS TO GIBBS 377 

they became giants, and then they were proud and naughty, 
and took the bridges and the rails in their quivering hands 
and tore them away, so that your Dada's train could not 
go any farther. When you are a grown-up Engineer you 
will build bridges and rails that the giant streams can't tear 
away, won't you ? 

On Sunday I went for a drive with Mr. Dillon, and we 
went to a spring where real soda water bubbles out of the 
ground, and then drove home through a place called the 
Garden of the Gods, where there are rocks formed by 
nature to look like eagles and frogs and little old men 
and all kinds of people and things, and we saw a little 
baby donkey, a real one, and your Dada bought it for his 
little boy, and if he is as good as he always is (not the 
donkey, but the boy), then Dada's boy can ride and drive 
it next year, please God. 

And now Dada kisses his boy just one hundred and one 
times and fifty and a half are for mudder. Jefferson is 
bringing Dada's supper, and Dada is going to eat it and 
thank the Lord he has such a good boy and such a dear 
mudder. 

DADA. 

From the time Gibbs was five years old his favourite 
toys were soldiers and cannon and fortresses. He was a 
general -when he was not an admiral, or a policeman, or 
an explorer, or a king or any of the hundreds of fictitious 
roles he assumed. Here is a letter written before Christ- 
mas in 1903 referring to the military fiction, 

December 14, 1903. 
MY DEAR, DEAR BOY: 

Last night I heard a tremendous row in the chimney, 
and I was afraid the cook had fallen into the fire, so I 
rushed to the fireplace, and I can tell you I was startled 
when first one reindeer and then another made its appear- 
ance, followed by a beautiful sleigh made of white candy, 
in which sat Mr. Santa Claus all wrapped up in white 



378 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1903 

fur. The fur was so white and the sleigh was so white, 
and Mr. Santa Claus' beard and hair were so white you 
could not tell where the sleigh began and Mr. Santa Claus 
ended. Of course I saluted Mr. Santa Claus, who used 
to be in the army once upon a time and always likes to be 
treated like an officer. 

Mr. Santa Claus saluted me, and then said very politely: 

' I believe I am not mistaken, do I not see before me the 
father of the distinguished General Gibbs Mansfield?" 
I blushed and bowed, because I was very much flattered 
to think that Mr. Santa Claus should have heard of my 
General. 'Well," said Mr. Santa Claus, stepping out of 
his sleigh, "let us sit down if you don't mind and have 
something hot to drink." I replied that I should be de- 
lighted, but, unfortunately, the servants had all gone to 
bed, and the housekeeper had taken the whiskey bottle 
away with her. Mr. Santa Claus winked his eye and 
laughed and said it didn't matter, whereupon he waved 
his right hand and a little boy, about the same size as the 
great General Gibbs made his appearance. 'This is my 
son," explained Mr. Santa Claus, "Lieutenant Santadiddy 
Clauschen!" We shook hands warmly, and Mr. Santa 
Claus continued: "Santadiddy," he said, "get some hot 
grog, quickly, I'm nearly frozen." Well, in a jifFy there 
stood Santadiddy with a bowl of steaming grog and two 
beautiful red crystal glasses. "Ah," said Mr. Santa 
Claus, "that's better," and he pulls a fine meerschaum 
pipe out of his pocket and lights it with a match, which I 
am sorry to say he ignited by rubbing it gently on a part 
of his trousers which I must refrain from mentioning. 

'That's a black mark for you, Dada," said Santadiddy. 

'I'll have it brushed when I get home," said Mr. Santa 
Claus, "and you can go to bed now." 'I don't want to 
go to bed," said Santadiddy. ' It's bed or a spanking," 
remarked Mr. Santa Claus, and Santadiddy vanished 
before I could say Jack Robinson. 

Well, Mr. Santa Claus sat back and took a whiff or two 
from his meerschaum and a sip or so of the grog. ' Now," 
says he, "by your leave, we'll get to business! Pleasure 



A CHRISTMAS INTERVIEW 379 

first and business afterward!" I agreed with him and 
started a game of solitaire. ' Put those cards away, 
please," said Mr. Santa Claus, 'I didn't come all this 
distance to watch you playing solitaire. It's night," he 
continued, looking out of the window and throwing his 
fur cloak over his left shoulder, "it's night and we are 
alone alone!" I shuddered. 'Would you mind," I 
interrupted, "if I went to my closet to get to get a re- 
volver and my sword and a dagger I don't quite like the 
way you look and I'm quite unprotected the house- 
keeper has gone to bed and I'm afraid she wouldn't hear 
me if I called her, and the policeman doesn't pass here 
very often, and even when he does he has to be engaged 
days in advance." "Silence," said Mr. Claus. "Si- 
lence!" and he said it so loud that the neighbours on both 
sides knocked on the walls and wanted to know if I'd been 
killed. I said, "No, not yet!" and then I could hear 
them getting into bed again. 

" For the last thirty years," commenced Mr. Santa 
Claus, in a deep voice which seemed to come out of his 
boots "for the last thirty years I have watched your son." 
. . . "I beg your pardon," I said. . . . "How dare you 
interrupt me ? For the last thirty years," continued 
Santa Claus "My son is only six," I said in a small voice. 

. . "Only six? Only six?" and Mr. Santa Claus fell 
back in his chair and closed his eyes "only six do you 
mean to say you have six sons?' "No! Only one!" I 
yelled, "One!" "Don't talk so loud," said Mr. Santa 
Claus, "I was nearly asleep and you woke me up you 
should be more considerate; what is that you said about 
'one'?" ... 'I have one son one, but such a one. 
... I mean an one! Oh, such an one . . . such . . ." 
'That'll do," said Mr. Santa Claus, "I know all about it, 
is it a girl?" "No. No a boy a son." "Oh, yes," 
said Mr. Santa Claus, "I'll put it down in my book at 
once does he she I mean it oh, dear, this grog is 
certainly very strong! does it go to work do anything ?' 
"Oh, lots, lots," I said. "Real estate?" inquired Mr. 
Santa Claus. "Oh, no," I said, "not real estate civil 



380 RICHARD MANSFIELD [, 903 

engineer fireman engine-driver general naval officer 
commander-in-chief Scotch bugler Knight. . ." "I 
think you had better go to bed and let me pour some cold 
water over your head!" "Oh, but I assure you he is," I 
said. " Really ? " asked Mr. Santa Claus. " How can he 
do it all!'' 'Well, you see," I said, "he lives with his 
dear mother at New London, and as they are quite alone 
he has to be a lot of men in order to make things lively 
and have plenty of people about all the time." " So then," 
said Mr. Santa Claus, "it's a question of providing not 
only for General Gibbs this Christmas, but for the engi- 
neer, and the General, and the naval officer and the bugler 
and the Knight Golden Ebony ? Dear, dear, dear . . . 
I'll have to think about it; times are very hard, you know, 
sir, and money is scarce, and there are so many, many 
children is he good is he?' "Oh, so good," I said, 
"so good he has guinea-pigs and dogs and rabbits and 
hens and pheasants and his Mamie 1 and his mother, and he 
takes care of them all he protects them with his army 
and guards them with his sword he's very brave and 
good!" "Well, well," said Mr. Santa Claus, "dry your 
eyes and don't cry. I'll do my best but it's a long way 
to New London, and I'll have to make haste gi-up!" 
and with that he got into his sleigh and drawing a blunder- 
buss out of his pocket he shot off my head, and that is the 
last thing I knew until I woke up this morning and Mr. 
Santa Claus and the sleigh and the reindeer, even the 
punch-bowl and the glasses were all gone only my head 
ached a little where Mr. Santa Claus had blown me off. 
So, dear boy, I send you this account of my wonderful 
adventures, and I hope Mr. Santa Claus won't forget you! 
I did my best. Your 

DADA. 

Golden Ebony was Gibbs's own choice of his name 
when he played at being a knight. His mother and father 
repeated to him the stories of the Round Table and he 

Miss Hunter, Gibbs's governess. 



igo 3 ] GOLDEN EBONY AND KING ARTHUR 381 

understood the fun in the following skit which his father 
wrote and sent him on Christmas night of 1903: 

Now when Golden Ebony rescued Sir Pelleas, who 
should be passing but King Arthur; he was out for an 
afternoon walk with Mrs. Arthur and the little Arthurs. 
King Arthur was so pleased with the bravery and adroit- 
ness of Golden Ebony that he went right up to him with- 
out any formal introduction, and said in his nice, frank 
way: 

"My boy, I know you, you are Golden Ebony; already 
have your deeds of prowess, your wonderful adventures, 
and hair-breadth escapes reached the ears of the occupants 
of the Round Table. Come, I prithee, with us, and you, 
too," he said, "Sir Pelleas, and honour our poor board 
with your presence. I am King Arthur." 

But Golden Ebony had already recognised the famous 
monarch, so he bent low his knee and made answer: 
"Great King, I shall be overwhelmed with happiness if I 
may be a guest in your castle and see with mine own eyes 
those sterling knights whose deeds have startled the 
world." 

Then King Arthur introduced Golden Ebony to his 
wife and children, but Sir Pelleas was an old friend and to 
him he spoke not, but frowned, thinking it ill befitted a 
Knight of the Round Table to be rescued by so young a 
soldier as Golden Ebony. After some hesitation, caused 
by his great modesty, Golden Ebony addressed the King 
again. "If it please your Majesty," said he, "I would 
fain bring with me my staunch hound, Fleet Foot, for 
without him nowhere do I venture." The King smiled 
and made answer: "I like it well, Golden Ebony, that 
you show such fidelity to your dog, for if we are not faith- 
ful to our friends, how can we expect fidelity from them ? 
Bring Fleet Foot by all means, and he shall fare well." 

They now approached the drawbridge of the great 
castle. King Arthur took from his trousers pocket a 
large golden horn and blew on it sixteen times, and be- 
hold, the drawbridge was lowered and all passed across. 



382 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1903 

The portcullis was raised, and at last Golden Ebony 
found himself in that famed castle, the walls of which have 
echoed with the songs of the minstrels, the voices of 
chivalry, and the clash of arms. Golden Ebony was con- 
ducted by a beautiful girl whose name was Millie Hunter, 
to a fine large bedroom which adjoined a bath-room all 
built of white crystal. Golden Ebony soon had his 
clothes off and was swimming and splashing about in the 
large tank from the centre of which a graceful fountain 
spouted water twelve feet in the air. Six small page boys 
now approached carrying an exquisite costume of velvet 
and silk, in scarlet and pink, and with very deft fingers 
had soon arranged Golden Ebony, had brushed out his 
golden locks and buckled his shoes. After that they con- 
ducted him to the banqueting hall. 

The banqueting hall was a thousand feet in length and 
a hundred feet high, and all the walls were covered with 
sparkling stones. Along the middle ran the Round Table, 
and at the end of the Table, on a raised dais, sat King 
Arthur and Mrs. King Arthur. 'Round the Round Table 
all the Knights were seated, but as Golden Ebony was a 
guest he was placed on the right hand of Mrs. King 
Arthur. 

It is impossible to name all the good things there were 
on the Table. There were flowers, of course, in great 
profusion; roasted pigs, boars' heads large pasties and 
raised pies containing blackbirds and live guinea-pigs who, 
as soon as the pie was opened, ran out and played about 
the table; then there was ice-cream of every variety, and 
delicious jellies that could talk, and said: "Eat me, eat me 
quick before I fall over, I am trembling so"; and jam and 
honey and such cakes! cakes built to look like castles, 
with soldiers of sugar watching on the turrets and the 
walls. 

You can just fancy how Golden Ebony was enjoying 
himself when suddenly he put his hand to his side and 
said: "Oh, gracious me!" "Why, what's the matter?'' 
asked Mrs. King Arthur, " I hope you haven't swallowed 
a bone?" "No," said Golden Ebony. "You should say, 




GEORGE GIBBS MANSFIELD AS KNIGHT 
GOLDEN EBONY 



i9o 3 ] AT THE ROUND TABLE 383 

'No, thank you,'" said King Arthur. 'You didn't give 
me time," said Golden Ebony. 'Don't contradict," said 
the King. ' I've forgotten my sword," said Golden Ebony. 
"You've forgotten your manners," said the King, "per- 
haps you've left them upstairs. You'd better go and look." 
" It's my beautiful sword, True-as-Steel," said Golden 
Ebony. 'I remember now, I must have left it on the 
battle-field, and oh, your Majesty, I must go and find it." 
"You can't leave the table before dinner is over," said 
Mrs. King Arthur, "you'd upset everybody and we'd have 
to send for the doctor." 

Thereupon Golden Ebony began to cry bitterly. ' Don't 
cry," said the King, "and I'll give you another one." 
But Golden Ebony cried more and more. 'Well," said 
the King, "this is a nuisance. I dislike to have people cry 
at dinner, and this is a Christmas dinner; suppose you 
laugh instead, it will sound much jollier, and it won't 
make any difference to you. You'll be making a noise, 
you know, just the same." And as Golden Ebony was 
very obliging he commenced to laugh, and he laughed very 
loudly. "Please don't make such a row," said Mrs. King 
Arthur, "you'll wake the baby!" 'I think," said the 
King, rubbing his nose with his spoon, "I think perhaps 
he had better go out and look for his sword; he doesn't 
seem to be very good company." "Oh, thank you, thank 
you," Golden Ebony exclaimed, 'I really couldn't eat 
without my sword!" 'You should learn to eat with a 
knife and fork!" the King remarked. 

Golden Ebony whistled to his dog and Fleet Foot 
hastily swallowed a turkey and a piece of plum pudding 
and joined his master. Golden Ebony had already 
reached the end of the hall, when Mrs. King Arthur said 
in a voice of thunder, "Lock the door! He has forgotten 
to say Good-Night!" Golden Ebony apologised and 
bowed and said good-night, and turned about to go. 
" He has forgotten to kiss us ! " roared the Queen. Golden 
Ebony apologised again and went up the hall and kissed 
the King and Mrs. King Arthur. 'Kiss us all," shouted 
the Knights of the Round Table, and Golden Ebony had 



384 RICHARD MANSFIELD [ I9 o 4 

to go about the table and kiss the Knights. "He hasn't 
kissed us!" squeaked the guinea-pigs, and goor Golden 
Ebony had to turn round once more and kiss all the guinea- 
pigs. "Now you can go," said Mrs. King Arthur, "but 
be sure to put on your woollen muffler and your rubber 
overshoes! Open the door!" and the door flew open and 
Golden Ebony found himself outside in the beautiful white 
snow, and who should be waiting outside but Santa Claus 
in his sleigh with eight reindeer. 

'Jump in!" said Santa Claus, 'I know where your 
sword is. Hurry up!" Golden Ebony jumped in, Santa 
Claus wrapped him up snugly in the warm white furs, and 
in a jiffy Golden Ebony was fast asleep and dreaming. 
Good-night! 

"General" Gibbs's campaigns were the subject of 
numerous letters from his father who reported to him 
under various noms-de-guerre. One of the first was 
dated April 8, 1904. At this time Mansfield was playing 
in Cincinnati, but lived in his private car near Fernbank, 
a charming village on the banks of the Ohio River, twelve 
miles west of the city. At the top of the page he wrote 
'I am sitting up a tree near the field of battle." Here is 
the letter: 

DEAR GENERAL: 

I have the honour to report that poor General Wiener- 
schnitzel is again in hot water, up a tree and in a tight 
place. As you are aware, we rescued General Wiener- 
schnitzel and his men from the jaws of death, and saw 
him safely on his way home to his wife, Mrs. Bratwurst- 
Wienerschnitzel and all his little schnitzels. But 
hardly had we disappeared than the General remem- 
bered all at once, and quite suddenly, that he had left his 
frying-pans and his knives and forks in the cave. He 
drew up his men and made a fine speech to them, calling 
upon volunteers to step out of the ranks and to go back 
and rescue the frying-pans and knives and forks that had 




MR. MANSFIELD ON THE STEPS OF "403' 



"WIENERSCHNITZEL" 385 

been so long in the family of the Wienerschnitzels. The 
only one who volunteered was a small boy who had been 
in the habit of cleaning the knives and forks, and it was 
finally decided to let him go back while Wienerschnitzel 
and his company encamped where they then were, await- 
ing the return of the small boy. Before leaving, the little 
boy was carefully disguised as a red Indian. About mid- 
night, when everybody was fast asleep, a most dreadful 
noise was heard, which sounded like the rattling of ar- 
tillery and the clatter of a thousand sabres. The men 
all rushed to arms and were just about to fire when the 
moon suddenly came out from behind a cloud and the 
small boy was seen coming into camp with all the frying- 
pans and knives and forks which he had tied together with 
a long string, dragging for nearly a mile behind him. 
Hardly had the small boy reached the camp than the 
Indians, who had also been aroused by the rattling of the 
cooking utensils, came down 200,000,000,000,000 strong 
upon poor Wienerschnitzel. It was in vain that he and 
his heroes fought like lions, in vain that they performed 
wonders of valour, in vain that Wienerschnitzel alone 
slew 100,000,000 men. Numbers prevailed, and at 
last poor Wienerschnitzel and his men were all tied 
tightly and bound to stakes. At this moment the Indians 
are collecting brushwood and fagots, and it looks as if 
they intended burning poor Wienerschnitzel and all his men. 
I beg, General, that you will collect your soldiers without 
a moment's delay and under the command of Dick and 
Linsley ' start at once for the scene of the disaster. 
Your obedient servant, 

DlNKELSPIEGEL. 

The next letter was written the following Monday and 
contains another report from " Dinkelspiegel." 

MY DEAR GENERAL: 

When I last wrote you I was up a tree and poor Wiener- 
schnitzel was on the point of being fried by the Indians. 

1 Dick and Linsley Quaintance. 



3 86 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1904 

I had not at that moment discovered a way of communicat- 
ing with you, but as I looked about for some means of 
furthering my object, I descried a bird perched upon a 
neighbouring branch. To my astonishment the bird 
spoke to me: 'Pretty Polly wants a bit of sugar." On 
closely examining this feathered messenger I discovered 
that she was no other than a favourite parrot belonging 
to an elderly lady residing near your palace. Fortunately, 
I had in my pocket some chocolate, and as soon as I 
showed a piece of it to Polly she hopped over to my side, 
and I was thus enabled to send you my letter by tying it 
around her neck. Being an intelligent bird, she at once 
flew away home. 

Having accomplished this, my attention was redirected 
to the unfortunate General Wienerschnitzel and his peril- 
ous position. The Indians were advancing with fire- 
brands to light the pile of timber massed about the poor 
man's legs! Gazing about me for some way to assist him, 
I perceived for the first time that the immense oak tree up 
which I had climbed was completely hollow. Now I had 
with me my powerful air-gun, and quickly shooting the 
two Indians who held in their hands the lighted torches, I 
dropped down into the interior of the tree and soon found 
a small hole through which I could observe the further 
proceedings of the savages. They appeared to be com- 
pletely stupefied by the sudden attack which came from, 
apparently, the very sky. They looked about them in 
wonder and awe, and it was some time before they came 
to their senses. The air-gun of course had made no 
noise, and they were therefore still more surprised to 
find the leaden bullets which had struck their men. 
One of the Chiefs, who was evidently more intelligent 
than the rest, pointed to my tree, and immediately three 
of the wretches started toward it with the intention of 
climbing up. 

I had already given myself up for lost when I noticed 
that a large white stone under my feet gave out a hollow 
sound. I quickly lifted it up and discovered to my intense 
satisfaction that there was a passage under the oak. I 



i 9 o 4 ] "DINKELSPIEGEL'S" HEROISM 387 

carefully entered this, dropping the stone back over my 
head. I could hear the Indians climbing up the tree and 
searching the branches in vain. As soon as they had 
rejoined their comrades I once more emerged into the 
hollow of the bark. Again the Indians advanced to burn 
poor Wienerschnitzel, and this time I shot two more. The 
savages were entirely nonplussed and scattered about in 
search of their enemy. Some again climbed the tree, but 
I had already taken pains to disappear into the passage. 
It now became a question among the fiends who should 
fire the wood pile, and it was finally decided that three 
Indians should advance abreast and close together, and 
at one and the same time set it on fire. Fortunately, they 
came forward obliquely and, so to speak, on the bias, and 
my shot went through all three of them ! This was too much 
for the Indians, who in the space of a few minutes had lost 
seven men and who realised that they might all be killed. 
I left them very little time for thought, however, for as 
they stood there massed together, talking and gesticulating 
like mad men, I fired seven shots with great rapidity and 
seven more men fell dead. With dreadful cries the Indians 
fled pell-mell. 

I listened until their shouts and their footsteps had com- 
pletely died away, when I rapidly made my way out of 
the tree and hastened to cut the General's hemp chains 
threw him over my shoulder and lowered him into the 
tree, where I swiftly followed. I then lifted the white 
stone and showed him the way into the passage. We 
followed this passage, crawling on our stomachs in inky 
darkness for probably a mile, when it became lighter, and 
we finally emerged on the banks of the Hudson. After 
reaching under the overhanging boughs of the brushwood 
which grew down to the river's brink, we found a large 
canoe, and as evening was falling we paddled rapidly 
under the shadow of the foliage down the river. At about 
eight o'clock we perceived fires burning, and as the General 
was still very weak and suffering, I left the canoe to recon- 
noitre. I cannot describe my joy when I found the 
General's own men peacefully encamped around their 



388 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1904 

fires, eating with very sad faces their evening meal. They 
had given up all hope of beholding their beloved General 
again, and you can imagine their joy when I marched into 
camp leading Wienerschnitzel by the hand! Your 

DlNKELSPIEGEL. 

While in San Francisco, in the spring of 1904, Mans- 
field sent home a case of Chinese embroideries. Gibbs 
was much disappointed, for there was nothing for him, 
and so "wrote" his father. The reply was posted from 
Fargo, North Dakota, on June 10: 

MY DEAR, DEAR BOY: 

You must not be disappointed because you did not get 
a present from me the other day; if you had looked very 
carefully you would have found a whole lot of kisses and 
beautiful thoughts for you in the parcel. But, dear me, I 
suppose you quite forgot to look for them and so catch 
them as they flew out, and now I don't know who has got 
them, perhaps some other boy, and I'm afraid we'll never 
get them back. I'll have to save up from now on and 
bring them with me, as well as the Chinese coat and the 
Chinese trousers and the Chinese cap and the Chinese 
shoes I have for my boy so all he will want will be a pig- 
tail. Be sure to grow one before I arrive so that I can 
have lots of fun in my holidays by pulling it. I know my 
boy is brave and won't scream. I hope you will come and 
knock at my bath-room door every morning, and if you 
are very good I will let you come in and swim in my bath- 
tub, while I shave my face. Do you shave your face now ? 
I suppose you have a moustache and an imperial ? I wish 
school were over! I am longing to come home, but my 
schoolmaster says I must be good and remain until the 
end of the term. I am very glad to hear that you are 
taking riding lessons and are brave. If you are very 
gentle and good to your pony he will soon learn to love 
and obey you, and you will soon be able to go off for long 
rides in the country on his back like a bonny knight of 



i9o S ] A PRECIOUS CARGO 389 

ye olden days. Wouldn't it be nice for you to put on 
your armour and take your lance and ride away to seek 
Guinevere ? 

Your fond 

DADA. 

Gibbs had not yet learned to write, but he drew with 
coloured pencils and explained to his mother what he had 
drawn, and she sent the pictures and the explanations to 
his father. Here is his acknowledgment of one of these 
drawings: 

May 24, 1905. 
MY DEAR GENERAL AND MY DEAR BOY: 

Your full-rigged ship, laden with your love and your 
kisses and good wishes, arrived safely in the port of Kan- 
sas City, and the work of unloading her is now progressing. 
The first thing she did when she sighted land was to load 
all her guns I counted 22 with kisses and fire them 
off, and nearly every one hit me straight on the lips, on my 
nose, and one struck me right in the middle of my stomach 
and knocked me down. Some of the kisses, however, 
went astray. For instance, the nigger no, I mean the 
coloured gentleman, who was waiting on me at dinner, 
and whose name is Jim, got one in the eye, and he was so 
astonished that he fell down with a dish of peas in his 
hand, and the peas rolled all over the floor and he was 
two hours picking them up. Another kiss struck a school- 
marm, who was walking by the hotel, and she went to 
the police station and complained that she had received a 
kiss and wanted to have somebody prosecuted. The 
police are now looking all over the city for some one who 
has lost a kiss. But I got most of them. Then your 
full-rigged ship furled her sails and was hauled alongside 
the wharf and commenced to unload her love. My, but 
there is a lot of it! Huge wagons full of love are rolling 
up the street, and all the people are out trying to steal 
some of it, for there are many here who have never had 
any or seen any. It is such a beautiful rosy colour, and 



390 RICHARD MANSFIELD [ I9 o 5 

altho' it is a dark day it lights up the whole street as it 
comes along. I am going to let everybody have a little of 
it it would be too selfish to keep it all to myself, and I 
know that you have so much that you will easily load 
another ship full and send it to me. And then came the 
good wishes! We couldn't pack them fast enough on 
wagons, so we got a million pigeons and tied them to 
their tails and they are flying all over the city distributing 
them and everybody is so happy! I think your sailors 
are the finest set of men I ever saw but of course they 
would be since they have been living on kisses and love 
and good wishes all the way here. And, oh, the sails! so 
white and all made of silk and the flags! the most 
brilliant I have ever seen! Thank you, my own dear boy. 
Please God, I may be soon with you and we'll have a tre- 
mendous battle! 

From your fond 

DADA. 

It was the brave "Dinkelspiegel" who got into trouble 
in the summer of 1905. Mansfield was cruising ofF Mat- 
tapoissett, Mass., on the Amorita, and sent this message 
from "Wienerschnitzel": 

OFF MATTAPOISSETT, 

SATURDAY, July i. 
MY DEAR GENERAL: 

If you wish to save Dinkelspiegel it must be done at 
once, altho' the predicament he is in at present is probably 
fatal. And even if you send your war vessels to rescue 
him, how are you going to find him ? That is the ques- 
tion. If I knew where he was, you may be quite sure, 
General, that I should inform you. I will, however, no 
longer keep from you such facts as upon my arrival in 
this place I was able to gather. To go back: Three days 
ago we intercepted a carrier pigeon which bore this mes- 
sage, written on a small piece of bunting, evidently a 
portion of the American ensign: 'Detachment sent by 



MORE 'WAR" 391 

General G. G. R. J. A. Mansfield, under command of 
General Windbeatel Dinkelspiegel, defeated with terrible 
loss. Dinkelspiegel, with a small remnant, escaped on a 
submarine. Inform G. G. R. J. A. M. immediately! 
Rescue!" I immediately took 20,000,000,000,000, men 
and started for Mattapoissett. We embarked on a bil- 
lion men-of-war, and as soon as we sighted the Hen and 
Chicken Light-ship we opened fire upon the enemy. The 
cannon-balls from our twenty billion guns were fired so 
rapidly that the sky was obscured by them, and when, 
after an hour's bombardment, I gave the order to cease 
firing, the greater portion of Mattapoissett, including the 
houses, rocks, wharfs, people, hens, cows, dogs, etc., had 
been completely destroyed. Thereupon I landed, and 
after a prolonged search found a man hiding in a hole in 
the ground. From him, after torturing him for an hour, 
I gathered the following facts: The enemy had allowed 
General Windbeatel Dinkelspiegel to occupy Mattapoissett 
without the slightest opposition, and the General, after 
dining copiously on hard-shell crabs, liver sausage, 
gruyere cheese, and beer, had retired to rest. In the 
middle of the night, however, the enemy surrounded Mat- 
tapoissett, and nearly our entire force was killed. The 
General and about twenty officers, however, were incar- 
cerated in an outbuilding which contained a number of 
empty barrels, and were guarded by two young soldiers. 
It appears that General Windbeatel Dinkelspiegel con- 
ceived the admirable idea of singing * 'Way Down on the 
Suwanee River" to them, and having thus freed himself 
of their presence he and his officers each occupied an 
empty barrel and rolled themselves down to the beach 
without arousing the suspicions of the foe. Once arrived 
there, they at once took possession of a submarine vessel 
and, diving immediately out of sight, disappeared. Altho' 
numerous other submarines were dispatched in search of 
them they were not found. I will await your orders, 
General, as Mattapoissett, and I have the honour to be 

Your obedient servant, 

WlENERSCHNITZEL. 



392 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1905 

The sequel was never told, at least not in the letters. 
The rescue of Dinkelspiegel was probably the subject of 
a story when the Amorita brought " Wienerschnitzel" back 
to New London. 

Here is a note about a kiss that was forgotten. It was 
mailed from the first port touched by the Amorita on a 
study-cruise while Mansfield was composing his perform- 
ance of "Don Carlos" in the summer of 1905. 

SCHOONER AMORITA, IN THE GUT, 

A/T r\ r\ SATURDAY. 

MY OWN DEAR BOY: 

When I got to the foot of the hill I remembered suddenly 
that I hadn't given you a nice long kiss. I think it was 
because I didn't believe I'd really get away at all, or I 
should have come back again, before sailing, to hug you. 
It quite spoiled my pleasure on the water, and now I must 
put a lot of kisses for you in this letter and ask Tother to 
give them to you for me. I always forget that boys like to 
be kissed, but I won't forget it again. The sea is beautiful, 
so olive and bright, and there is a splendid breeze, and we 
have just passed a big schooner yacht, the Iroquois, that is 
twenty feet longer than we are, and that started from New 
London half an hour before we did, and now we are 
actually leaving her hull down. We are just entering the 
Gut, a dangerous place, where the tide runs like a mill 
stream, and where it is impossible to get thro' unless the 
tide and wind are propitious. But we have the tide with 
us, altho' we have had to beat so far on account of the 
wind being ahead. When you are a bigger boy you shall 
learn how to sail the Amorita all by yourself won't that 
be fine ? You were such a good boy this morning, and I 
really thought I kissed you until I got to the foot of the 
hill, and then I felt that I missed something, and I found out 
it was your kiss. Now you can kiss Tother for me and tell 
her she is a good girl, too, and she is to have lots of tun and a 
" high old time " I don't know what that is, do you ? Here 
are a lot of kisses for you both from DADA. 




ts: 



j-. 
X 



A REBUKE 393 

Here is a little note of rebuke sent back to the Riverside 
home the day of leaving for a tour: 

PRIVATE CAR 403. 
MY DEAR DARLING BOY: 

If you knew how hard it is for me to punish you, you 
would never, never hurt anybody again but perhaps you 
will know that, and know that I have suffered a great deal 
more than you. . . . You must realise and understand 
that the first duty of a brave knight is to be gentle and 
kind, and that to hurt and wound is cowardly and cruel. 
Your dear mother never hurt any one, and you know how 
good she is! I am sure you did not mean to be cruel 
but you see you have to learn the lesson to watch your 
hands and your feet for you would be a silly idiot not to 
control your own legs and arms and restrain them when 
you wanted to wouldn't you ? So now I hope you'll 
never have to go to bed again excepting at your regular 
bed hour, and here are a lot of love and kisses from 

Your loving 

D. A. 

The boy understood his father's own struggles with his 
temperament. One day Mansfield said to me: "My boy 
will go far, he grasps what many of his elders do not. If 
he comes into the room and sees that I am angry he never 
answers a word, but turns on his heel and goes out. In 
a little while he comes back with a cheery 'Well, Dada ?' 
just as if nothing had happened." 

From Cincinnati he wrote this letter with its amusing 
conceit, to thank Gibbs for a Christmas box: 

December 31, 1906. 
DEAREST BOY: 

The box you sent me is just beautiful, beautiful! and I 
keep a lot of lovely thoughts in it, and when I am sad or 
tired I open the box for a little while and the happy 



394 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1906 

thoughts come hopping out one by one, or sometimes 
they tumble out in a bunch, and they are so merry some 
of them, and others so cheerful and encouraging, it makes 
me quite gay. There is one fellow, however (I really 
don't know how he ever got in), who jumps out on one 
leg and instantly stands on his head and sticks out his 
tongue and pulls a long nose at me. He is very rude, of 
course, but still I can't help laughing at him. I have 
tried to catch him, but he refuses to be caught, and is so 
quick and deft in eluding me I get quite exhausted running 
after him. None of the other boys and girls in the box 
will have anything to do with him, and I don't see how he 
manages to live. The others all get candy and cake and 
ice-cream, but Handy Andy (that's his name) won't touch 
anything sweet, and the other day I caught him drinking 
the ink and eating the pen-wiper. So this morning I 
asked him to give an account of himself, and who do you 
think he says he is ? He says: "All the other children are 
Gibbs's good deeds and good days and nice ways and 
polite manners and his kindness and gentleness and 
sweetness!" and then he said: "I'm his badness. I'm 
him (his grammar is bad) when he's horrid and cross and 
rude, or disobeys his mother or dada whew!" and he 
jumped onto his head and made a snook and swallowed 
the blotting paper. The other day, Christmas Day, he 
disappeared. I wonder where he was ? You must have 
been very good ! Well, I'm glad there are so many good of 
you in the box and only one bad. Here are such a lot of 
kisses and hugs from your loving 

D. A. 



CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE 



(1902-1904) 

Brutus in "JuHus Caesar "Emancipation from tradition The boys 
at Fernbank Lyman B. Glover B. D. Stevens "Old Heidel- 
berg" -Aversion to photographs in character Temper " Ivan 
the Terrible"- -Keeping in the atmosphere while off the scene- 
Acting Ivan with his foot in a plaster cast On tour To Cali- 
fornia again. 

ADMIRED as Mansfield was in "Beaucaire," he fretted 
to feel his art constrained to charm alone. He longed for 
sterner stuff. "The Public has honoured me with its 
support, they have raised me to a high place, and they 
expect me to meet my responsibility," he said. 

There were no new plays at hand which tempted him. 
When it came to a selection of a part which he would next 
present, a long-standing desire to act Marcus Brutus in 
Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" became a decision, and he 
produced this play at the Grand Opera House, in Chicago, 
for the first time October 3, 1902. 1 



1 The cast was: 

Julius Cassar . 
Octavius Caesar 
Marcus Antonius 
Caius Cassius . 
Marcus Brutus 
Casca 
Trebonius 
Metellus Cimber 
Decimus Brutus 
Legarius . 
Popilius Lena . 



Mr. Arthur Greenaway. 
Mr. Alfred Mansfield. 
Mr. Arthur Forrest. 
Mr. Barry Johnstone. 
Mr. Mansfield. 
Mr. W. H. Denny. 
Mr. A. G. Andrews. 
Mr. Henry Wenman. 
Mr. Ernest C. Warde. 
Mr. Edwin Fitzgerald. 
Mr. Edwin Holland. 



395 



39 6 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 



[1902 



Here was imperial Rome called back into light and life 
again. Sir Alma Tadema designed the pictures. Wil- 
liam Telbin, Hawes Craven, Richard Marston, and John 
Young painted them. Mansfield lighted and furnished 
them with a poet's imagination and the eye of a painter. 
With an enthusiasm not always patient he would sit in 
the darkened auditorium of the theatre by the hour for 
weeks before a production, experimenting with a grouping, 
with a piece of furniture, with a touch of colour from a 
scarf, a rug, a curtain, or a torch, and with unnumbered 
softened, tinted, shifting lights. He sought to denote 
more than visual loveliness or historical accuracy in a 
pictured scene. In the harmony of its details he strove to, 
and did, express the mood of the acted scene. Thus his 
pictures appealed to the emotions as well as to taste, and 
he led the way in this newly developing branch of stage art. 

His last production was apt to be pronounced his best. 
So the sombre grandeur of " King Richard III," the sen- 



Publius . 
Cinna 
Cicero 
Artimidorus 
Servius 
Lucilius . 
Titinius . 
Messala . 
Volumnius 
Lucius 
Varro 
Clitus 
Claudius . 
Strato 
Dardanius 
Pindarus . 
First Citizen 
Second Citizen 
Third Citizen 
Fourth Citizen 
Calpurnia 
Portia 

Senators, Citizens, Soldiers, 
Attendants 



Mr. W. T. Simpson. 

Mr. VV. J. Sorelle. 

Mr. Grant Mitchell. 

Mr. Henri Laurent. 

Mr. B. L. Clark. 

Mr. M. C. Tilden. 

Mr. A. G. Anson. 

Mr. Clarence Cochran. 

Mr. Hamilton Coleman. 

Miss Mona Harrison. 

Mr. Philip Stokes. 

Mr. S. M. Hendricks. 

Mr. J. E. Delmar. 

Mr. Octave Lozon. 

Mr. Frazer Smith. 

Mr. Clarence White. 

Mr. Paul Wiggins. 

Mr. Carl Ahrendt. 

Mr. Frank Mason. 

Mr. F. X. Baron. 

Miss Maude Hoffman. 

Miss Dorothy Hammond. 
Runners, Standard Bearers, Guards, 
and others. 



i 902 ] "JULIUS CESAR" 397 

sual opulence of "Nero," the chromatic loveliness of 
"The Merchant of Venice" and "Cyrano de Bergerac," 
and the massive splendour of "King Henry V" appeared 
to be surpassed even by his "Julius Caesar." 

The imperial progress of Caesar to the Lupercal games, 
past the orange temples, attended by a populace that 
seemed to have stepped individually from Tadema can- 
vas; Brutus's garden, mysterious and mournful, the moon 
in sullen retirement, a soft note of color from the eternal 
fires of an altar near by, fit place for conspiracies; the curved 
marble tiers of the Senate rising under an arcade that 
panelled the deep, hard turquoise of the Italian sky, the 
prophetic crimson of a scarf trailing down from the feet 
of Caesar enthroned in golden light; the plastic passion of 
the soldiers, lictors, patricians, and rabble swarming the 
stones and steps of the pillared forest of the place before 
the Forum; the tragic austerity of the Philippi scenes 
this was the background against which in high relief stood 
the problem of Brutus, a soul set against itself, a spiritual 
nature made fanatical by imagination and conscience. 

Brutus was Mansfield's nearest approach to Hamlet. 
But it was no frozen classic symbol. His mission was to 
humanise the classics that he acted. His interpretation 
of this character left tradition leagues behind. Here, as 
when he first acted Richard III, the interpretation shot 
over the heads of those who had not Hans Sachs's 
philosophy and would not condescend to consider Brutus 
from the actor's viewpoint instead of their own. 

Perhaps he was thinking of the generations of actors who 
had been painting statuesque, declaiming Brutuses on 
the public mind, when he replied to a question of mine as 
to the kind of auditor he preferred: "Give me a man 
with a white mind and let me paint my portrait there. A 



398 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1902 

white mind makes the artist's work easy. The painter 
begins with a white canvas, but the actor may not always. 
In an audience are always some minds black with ignor- 
ance, yellow with prejudice, green with envy, gray with 
indifference. But a white, open, unclouded, generous, 
kindly, intelligent, receptive mind is the artist's opportu- 
nity, and that there are so many white minds is his salva- 



tion.' 



He took his courage in both hands, and his Brutus was 
as new as Whistler or Wagner would have interpreted 
him. Because for three acts during the observation of 
Caesar's menace to the commonweal, the consideration of 
Cassius's subtle persuasions, and the restraint before the 
murder the struggle was all subjective, the action slug- 
gish, and the suggestion all in the artist's mood this 
part of his performance was obviously difficult to the un- 
imaginative. 

Few caught the poetic tenderness of Brutus's part in the 
assassination. At Casca's call the conspirators rushed in 
a crowd upon the tribune and, when one after another 
they fleshed their knives in Caesar's bosom, they fell away, 
revealing him face to face with Brutus, whose arm was 
raised to strike. 'Et tu, Brute!" sighed the dying man. 
A shadow of infinite sorrow mantled his friend's face. A 
tremor shook his frame. The murder was already con- 
summated, but his pledge had been given and the issue 
was met with a poet's touch. Tenderly, sorrowfully, 
sacrificially the patriot laid his blade on the bleeding 
breast of his friend, the point directed to his own heart. 

In contrast with all that precedes, the quarrel scene is 
objective, hence vastly easier to appreciate, and it gave 
the actor his greatest triumph with the multitude. Here 
Mansfield unleashed the full reserve of his mighty voice. 



i 902 ] DEATH OF BRUTUS 399 

He was adamantine. Against this Brutus Cassius broke 
like spray against a cliff. How poetically imagined was 
the ghost of Caesar. It was suggested by a vaporous 
shadow in a lurid light, out of which the voice floated. 
The reality of the wraith was appallingly manifest in 
Brutus's face. 

The death of Brutus was another bold departure from 
convention. Instead of melodramatic writhing, all was 
whispered awe, majesty, and silence. The hour imagined 
was evening, after the day of battle, the hour when twilight 
beckons night. At the foot of a shattered pine on a mass 
of rock sat Brutus, full armoured, helmet on head, shield 
and sword in hand, spent and brooding, a warrior figure 
Michael Angelo might have carved. As one retainer after 
another heard his whispered appeal for death, they fled 
from the spot, leaving him alone. Over the sad face and 
dreamy eye there passed the memory of the whole tragedy 
in one moment of immovable silence. Then drawing his 
shield before his breast and face, his sword slowly searched 
his heart. There was the fortitude of a general in the 
convulsion of the whole frame as he withdrew the blade. 
He slowly lowered the shield, and the sword fell from his 
fingers as they groped straight before him, and he ad- 
dressed a second vision of the friend he came to meet: 

Caesar, now be still; 
I killed not thee with half so good a will. 

The head dropped upon his breast, and here Octavius 
and Antony found him dead. 'The death of a despairing 
hero," said the Commercial Advertiser, "stricken for the 
ideals that have possessed him, could hardly be more finely 
imagined or more in consonance with the mood of trag- 
edy." 



400 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1903 

'Julius Caesar" was acted throughout every week of the 
season of 1902-1903, except during one of the weeks of a 
return engagement in Chicago. In New York Mansfield 
played at the Herald Square Theatre during December 
and January. He did not go west of the Missouri River 
this season. It should perhaps be made a part of this 
record that, in spite of the extraordinary expenses under 
which the production of 'Julius Caesar" was prepared, 
maintained, and "travelled," the audiences came in such 
numbers that Mansfield's profits were greater than on 
any other single year. 

He believed in the proverb about the wisdom that cometh 
out of the mouth of babes and said he often preferred a 
boy's idea of his performance to his senior's. He was 
fond of his gallery and believed in its judgment except for 
a few of his roles. One of the best criticisms he got from 
youngsters was about Brutus. He did not say what it 
was, but the circumstance was interesting. 

As already hinted, he lived on his car at Fernbank 
during his later visits to Cincinnati. In a meadow near by 
the neighbourhood boys played ball. Mansfield at once 
ingratiated himself with the youngsters with gifts and 
stories, umpiring their games, so that his returns were the 
signal for a welcome from the boys. 

This year of "Julius Caesar" he invited the Fernbank 
boys into the city to see him act. An order for a box was 
scribbled on a card, and he thought no more of it. A few 
nights afterward the boys, much scrubbed and much 
dressed, presented themselves at the door of the theatre. 
The tickets were nearly all taken and only one box re- 
mained unsold. The boys were told that there was no 
box to be had. 

Retiring to the sidewalk, they decided to press their 




RICHARD MANSFIELD AS BRUTUS 



i9o 3 ] THE FERNBANK BOYS 401 

claims with their friend. By some miracle nothing less, 
for by no chance was a stranger allowed on Mansfield's 
stage without an invitation, and that was rare they got 
past the stage doorkeeper and rapped at the door of the 
star dressing-room. "Come in," called Mansfield, and 
they revealed themselves and explained their grievance. 
When he understood, he took the card and wrote on the 
back, "No box, no performance, R. M." 

Need it be said that there was a performance ? Next 
day, under the big tree near the car, he talked his char- 
acter over with the boys, and from such talks he declared 
he learned much. 

Mr. Palmer's health had been failing for some time, 
and this winter he retired from Mr. Mansfield's manage- 
ment. He was succeeded by Lyman B. Glover. Mr. 
Glover had, during two decades as a critic in Chicago, 
raised himself to a secure position among the leaders of 
thought and opinion on the English-speaking drama. His 
encouragement for all that was best in the theatre included 
invaluable support of Mansfield during his recurrent 
visits to Chicago. The same motive of gratitude, coupled 
with respect for his knowledge and judgment, inspired 
Mansfield to offer him the management as when he in- 
vited Mr. Palmer five years before. The association con- 
tinued three years, when Mr. Glover returned to his home 
city to assume the management of a group of theatres 
there. Mr. B. D. Stevens then took the managerial reins, 
which he held until the end. 

The German stage this winter attracted foreign atten- 
tion to it for the first time in a long while by the appear- 
ance of a tenderly sentimental play called "Old Heidel- 
berg." While Mansfield was on tour in the West the play 
reached New York, was acted at the Irving Place Theatre, 



402 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1903 

and a translation into English was performed at the Prin- 
cess Theatre. The latter was soon retired on account of 
lack of support. Word of these enterprises drifted out to 
him, and he sent for the play. 

Karl Heinrich struck a responsive chord in his heart at 
once. As he grew older Mansfield did not become less 
youthful. His severity in the early period, when the future 
stretched out before him a long precipitous climb, became 
mellow with success. It was not that he was free from 
care or that he relaxed his energies. The change was in 
his relation to life, not to his art. That was always the 
same, almost religious in its purpose. In the theatre he 
was ever the hard worker, the severe disciplinarian of him- 
self and of those near him. It was not the actor, but the 
man who now craved the companionship of young people. 
By "young people" is meant those younger than one's 
self at any age. That is the vanity which clings to youth 
always as if it had recently departed. 

There were tears in his eyes when he read "Old Heidel- 
berg." 'This is real comedy," he said, "I want to play 
this. It is truth, it is a poem. It will make people young 
again, and it will teach the lesson of the priceless days of 
youth. It may soften hearts of parents and induce them 
to help make youth a more precious memory for their 
children." Was he thinking of his unsympathetic gover- 
ness or of his beloved master and the delectable days at 
Derby ? 

The choice for his next experiment narrowed to Prince 
Karl Heinrich or Tzar Ivan the Terrible. He grew more 
and more absorbed with the latter character. It possessed 
his mind, but the German boy captured his heart. Be- 
sides, after a tragedy he wanted to appear in comedy. So 
preparations were begun for "Old Heidelberg." 



19 o 3 j "OLD HEIDELBERG" 403 

The Messrs. Shubert of the anti-syndicate forces had 
grown strong enough to build the Lyric Theatre, in 
New York, and Mansfield was invited to open it. His 
consent was made much of in an effort to represent that 
he would no longer act in the houses of the stronger or- 
ganisation. His action was not more, however, than as 
an expression of his independence of any faction whatever, 
which he always maintained. 

The Lyric Theatre was opened to the public October 
12, 1903, and on that evening Mansfield produced Meyer- 
Forster's "Old Heidelberg." 1 

There had been only one concern in relation to this 
characterisation of Prince Karl Heinrich. The play itself, 

'The cast was: 

Karl Heinrich (Hereditary Prince o) Sachsen- 

Karlsburg) Mr. Mansfield. 

Staatsminister Von Haugk . . . Mr. A. E. Greenaway. 

Hofmarschall Freiherr Von Passarge . Mr. Henry Wenman. 

Kammerherr Von Breitenberg . . Mr. Wm. J. Sorelle. 

Kammerherr Baron Von Metzing . . Mr. Ernest C. Warde. 

Doctor Juttner (Tutor to Karl Heinrich) Mr. A. G. Andrews. 

Chaplain of the Court .... Mr. H. S. Hadfield. 

Lutz (Valet to Karl Heinrich') . . Mr. Leslie Kenyon. 

Graf Von Asterberg (Student oj the Corps 

"Saxonia") Mr. Francis McGinn. 

Von Wedell (Student oj the Corps "Saxo- 

Borussia") Mr. H. Coleman. 

Kellermann (Steward o/ the Corps "Saxonia") Mr. Edward Fitzgerald. 

Ruder (Innkeeper at Heidelberg) . . Mr. W. J. Constantine. 

Frau Ruder (his -wife) .... Miss Annie Woods. 

Frau Dorffel (her aunt) . . . Miss Vivian Bernard. 

Kathie Miss Grace Elliston. 

KarlBilz (Student 0} the Corps "Saxonia") Mr. H. Neuman. 

Kurt Engelbrecht (Student o) the Corps "Sax- 
onia") Mr. Clement Toole. 

Von Bauzin (Student o) the Corps "Saxonia") Mr. F. W. Thompson. 

Von Reinecke (Student of the Corps "Sax- 
onia") Mr. Wendell Thompson. 

Steiner (Student of the Corps " Suabia") . Mr. Charles Quinn. 

Naumann (Student oj the Corps " Vandalia") Mr. J. Hafey. 

Eckardt (Student oj the Corps " Rhenania") Mr. P. A. McCarthy. 

Scholermann } ( Mr. Henri Laurent. 

Glanz . > (Lackeys) < . . Mr. A. McHugh. 

Reuter . ) ( . . Mr. M. C. Tilden. 

Conductor of the Band .... Mr. Chas. Caroly. 

Officers at the Court of Karlsburg: Messrs. Hevia, Brunswick, Sachs, 
Faust, Newton, Patron and Pindar. 



4 o 4 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1903 

while somewhat attenuated, was so rich in charm vividly 
realised by Mansfield in picturing and rehearsing every 
other element of the production and the role of the 
Prince was so easily within his secure grasp, that it re- 
mained simply a question of whether he could repeat other 
miracles of make-up and transform himself into a boy of 
nineteen. Mansfield was now in his forty-sixth year. It 
is far more difficult to conceal age than youth on the stage. 

So all was success when he came down the curved 
stairway from the cabinet chamber into the group of 
ministers, officials, and flunkies. The customary ovation 
welcoming his first entrance was in this instance rather 
more than half for the surprising youth of the Prince. 
Few could believe at first it was really Mansfield that was 
merely the triumph of make-up, the triumph of youthful 
simulation developed from speech to speech. When, 
later, the young automaton of Karlsburg Palace began to 
breathe the intoxication of Heidelberg, he not only looked, 
but was, young. His voice was a bland treble, his blood 
seemed to boil, and his heels never touched the floor. 

It was especially with his light-footedness that he in- 
dicated youth. His early skill in dancing showed in his 
agility and grace, and dancing was one of the arts he ad- 
vised stage aspirants to cultivate. 

Students of the Corps "Saxonia": Messrs. Deery, Delmar, Walter, 

O'Brien, Lyman, Rensaeler, Gross, Osborne, Scrace, Osborn, 

Harmon, Lieblee, Silverman and Conway. 
Students of the Corps "Suabia": Messrs. Foster, Berkess, Hadneld, 

MacDonald, Parry, Miller, Bradford, Dimond, Foster, O'Brien, 

Berkes and Le Voisier. 
Students of the Corps "Saxo-Borussia": Messrs. Waterbury, Clinton, 

Paterson, Stevens, MacCallam, Primrose, Hope, Jones, Gordon, 

Taylor and Chase. 
Students of the Corps "Vandalia": Messrs. Whitehouse, Wagner, 

Bordley, Prescott, Marsile, Thackera, Vest, Carrol, Brosseau and 

Myers. 
Students of the Corps " Rhenania": Messrs. Casey, Steiner, Neumann, 

Koch, Harvey, Taylor, Eekelhardt and Foster. 

Students of other Corps, Officers, Guards, Lackeys, etc. 



i9o 3 ] ON BEING PHOTOGRAPHED 405 

As often with him, Karl Heinrich was not one character 
but, in a way, a series. The shy, awkward boy under the 
constraint of military discipline, became a pulsing, natural 
youth at the university, and responsibility aged him per- 
ceptibly, soul as well as body, when he had ruled a while 
in his hard old uncle's place. 

Mansfield would not be photographed as Karl Heinrich. 
Indeed it was extremely difficult to persuade him to be 
photographed in any character. The value of photo- 
graphs as a medium of publicity had no influence with 
him. Sometimes at the end of a season he would be per- 
suaded that he owed it to his wife and his boy to per- 
petuate the characterisation to the extent of a portrait. 
This was the only argument that had any effect with him. 

'Photographs of characters are inartistic and dis- 
illusionising," he repeated when persuasion was offered. 
'They convey only the shell of the character. An audi- 
ence does not really see what is before it, but what I make 
it think it sees." For that reason he would not pose in 
character for a portrait painter. 'You must get your 
impression across the footlights. The stage is for illusion. 
Paint the character as it appears to you. You would find 
it quite different at close range frozen in a pose." 

Waves of genuine affection came across to him when he 
played Prince Karl Heinrich, and those letters full of 
admiration and praise, which had poured in for nearly 
every role, were for this one glowing with affection. This 
was especially gratifying to him, for, having won the con- 
fidence and the esteem of the people, he wanted their love. 
In spite of the nagging disposition of an irresponsible sec- 
tion of the press, the old fiction of his identity with his 
darker, instead of his lighter, roles was falling away. The 
sterner fibres of Courvoisier, Cyrano, King Harry, Beau- 



4 o6 RICHARD MANSFIELD [ I9 o 4 

caire, Brutus, and Karl Heinrich had been so exquisitely 
tempered with tenderness that the actor's silence in the 
face of personal detraction was justified by the answer he 
made for the past five years through the spirit of his acting. 

He felt sufficiently firm in public affection now to give 
rein to his versatility and present himself in an unsympa- 
thetic role once more. For nearly seven years he had 
been composing his Tzar Ivan. As he was to reappear 
for a brief engagement in New York City in the spring 
of 1904 he decided to make a production of the Tolstoy 
historical tragedy. 

"Ivan the Terrible" was written in the Russian lan- 
guage, about 1867, by Count Alexis Tolstoy, a cousin of 
Count Lyof Tolstoy, and was the first of an historical 
trilogy of which the other two dramas were "Tzar Feo- 
dor" and "Tzar Boris." The censorship against plays 
dealing with the person and character of the Tzar was 
very strict in Russia, and it was not until 1901 that 
"Ivan the Terrible" was acted before the public at the 
Theatre Alexandra in St. Petersburg, whereupon it at- 
tained enormous popularity. 

Before this time, however, it had been produced in 
"private theatricals" at court, a near relative of the reign- 
ing Tzar having acted Tzar Ivan. In the audience was 
Madame Sophie de Meissner, daughter of Admiral Rad- 
ford of the United States Navy and widow of Vladimir de 
Meissner, at the time of their marriage secretary of the 
Russian legation in Washington and afterward attached to 
the Imperial Court in St. Petersburg. Immediately she 
saw the play she made up her mind that she would trans- 
slate it into English for Mansfield, who alone, as she later 
wrote gracefully, she believed was capable of its complete 
realisation. He hungered to act the celebrated tyrant 



1904] A CHARACTERISTIC REHEARSAL 407 

from the first reading, but for a long time listened to the 
advice of those near him and to his own fears which sug- 
gested that, superb as were the acting opportunities of the 
central character, the unrelieved gloom and the sketchy, 
disconnected nature of the play would defeat him. As 
usual, he listened to every one but did as he pleased, and 
he now pleased to stake his embodiment of this great role 
against the absence of sympathy or even of play. 

Preparations were forwarded during the winter under 
trying circumstances. He was on tour until two days 
before the play was produced, in a different city nearly 
every week, playing nightly and travelling on Sunday. 
The scenery and accessories were prepared in New York 
under long-distance directions. They were reproduced 
from drawings which Madame de Meissner went to Russia 
to secure, and she brought over most of the costumes. 
Rehearsals were held wherever Mansfield happened to be. 
He memorised his long role over his coffee in the morn- 
ing, or late at night after a day's rehearsal and an evening's 
performance. For months he had no waking thought 
but of ingenuous, charming young Karl Heinrich while the 
curtain was up and of vicious, senile Tzar Ivan while the 
curtain was down. 

In spite of the difficulties under which he worked he 
never showed more patience than during these rehearsals 
of " Ivan the Terrible." That is saying much, for he in- 
sisted on carrying the burden of every detail, whereas 
merely the learning of his own lines and the formulation of 
his own role was many times the burden of any one of his 
associates. Back of it all was other anxiety. Not only 
was his reputation, his prestige put up each time for opinion 
to bowl over if it cared to or could, but in each production 
he invested as much as the average rich man pays for a 



4 o8 RICHARD MANSFIELD [ I904 

country home which he expects to occupy for life. All 
these considerations reacted on his nerves, and his nerves 
reacted on his temper. But those who knew him, knew 
that it was a tempest of the nerves and not of the heart. 
To say to a workman " You're discharged ! " meant nothing 
more than a reproof. It was the habit of exaggerated words. 
A carpenter for many years with Mansfield had the correct 
focus on his temper. Mr. Glover approached him with 
some question as to Mr. Mansfield's wishes about a new 
setting. " Really, Mr. Glover, I don't know," replied the 
workman, with ingenuousness. :< Mr. Mansfield has only 
discharged me four times on this production and I haven't 
quite got his idea yet." Most often the outbursts were 
the effect of nervous despair. At times before acting a 
new role, there were moments when his confidence in him- 
self appeared to desert him, and he broke down com- 
pletely. Then in a nervous burst he would toss away his 
part and pace the stage in a voluble agony, declaring it 
would be impossible to give the production, everything 
and everybody, including the play and himself, were 
beyond hope, the opening must be postponed, etc., etc. 
At such moments no one had influence with him but his 
gentle wife. With soft words of agreement, the tender 
terms with which a mother would propitiate a child, she 
would calm the spirit of this mighty child, and in five min- 
utes have him quieted, comforted, and back at work again. 
Hence his unfailing patience and gentleness during the 
rehearsals of Ivan were a matter of ominous comment 
among the company. He seemed to be holding himself 
under a strain which would break him. This endured 
until the dress rehearsal, which passed swimmingly up to 
the fourth act. There in the passionate confession scene 
the tricky lines slipped, and with them slipped his self- 



1904] 



IVAN THE TERRIBLE 



409 



possession. There were five minutes of realistically im- 
provised Tzar Ivan before he settled down, but the burst 
was welcomed by every one. An old timer of some four- 
teen years in the company said: 'I was afraid for him. 
And I was afraid for this piece. It seemed as if he hadn't 
blown in the trade-mark. But it's all right now. Be- 
sides, he is all the better for it." 

When he returned to play in New York, it was to the 
New Amsterdam Theatre where he had not before ap- 
peared. He did not afterward act on any other stage in 
New York. As usual, he brought the house good luck. 
Here on Tuesday evening, March i, 1904, he presented 
"Ivan the Terrible" for the first time. 1 



1 The cast was: 

Ivan Vassilyevich (the Terrible), Tzar of 

Russia .... 
The Tzaritza Marie Feodorovna 
Tzarevitch Fyodor Ivanovitch . 
Tzarevna Irina 



Marie Grigorevna, wife of Boris 



God- 



unoff 

Prince Msteslavsky 

Prince Nikita Romanovitch Zaharin 

Prince Shuisky 

Prince Belsky . 

Prince Galitzin 

Prince Troubetskoy 

Prince Tatistcheff 

Prince Saltikoff 

Michael Nagoy 

Boris Fyodorvich Godunoff, brother-in- 
law of the Tzarevich 

Gregory Nagoy 



Pan Garabourda 
Proskof Keekin 
Michael Bitagofsky, 



an adventurer 



Mr. Arthur Forrest. 
Mr. Hamilton Coleman. 
Mr. Kenyon. 
Mr. H. Hadfield. 
Mr. A. G. Andrews. 
Mr. Laurent. 
Mr. M. C. Tilden. 
Mr. Kingdon. 
Mr. Marcel Scrace. 
Mr. McGinn. 
Mr. Ludwig Brunswick. 
Miss Vivian Bernard. 
5 Miss Alma Hathaway. 
( Miss Laura Eyre. 
Nobles, State Officials, Guards, Buffoons, Serfs and People of 

Moscow. 



First Magician 

Second Magician 

Doctor Yakoby 

A Jester . 

Flour Dealer . 

Attendant on Prince Shuisky 

A Nurse . 

Ladies in Attendance 



Mr. Mansfield. 
Miss Ida Conquest. 
Miss Mona Harrison. 
Miss Adelaide Nowak. 

Miss Olive Oliver. 
Mr. William Sorelle. 
Mr. Ernest Warde. 
Mr. Henry Wenman. 
Mr. Francis McGinn. 
Mr. Francis Kingdon. 
Mr. Leslie Kenyon. 
Mr. Edward Fitzgerald. 
Mr. W. T. Patron. 
Mr. Henri Laurent. 



4 io RICHARD MANSFIELD [1904 

His Tzar Ivan disappointed no one. Here were no 
harassing traditions and conventions. He did not have to 
create as many Ivans as there were conceptions in the 
audience. Every one came without an Ivan. Each one 
brought a "white mind." On it he painted a portrait 
which was his very own from the first stroke to the last. 

As for the play, no one expected it to succeed. It could 
not. There was no play. It was practically an inter- 
rupted monologue. In spite of the lack of any extraneous 
interest Mansfield stalked straight ahead to a triumph 
such as only the greatest artists attain. "Ivan the Ter- 
rible," either as play or character, was not designed to 
become popular. It was grim gloom, shot by red flames of 
passion and yellow bursts of sardonic humour, but it was 
mighty, irresistible, overwhelming. It swept away any 
lurking doubts of Mansfield's greatness. 

He found himself acting Ivan during the first few even- 
ings at the New Amsterdam with peculiar difficulty. At 
first he could not define it. Presently it came to him. 
"It's the dressing-room," he said. "I cannot act if I 
continue to dress up here." 

The dressing-rooms in this theatre are designed for the 
safety of the actors in case of fire and to give them the 
benefit of all possible daylight and fresh air. They are 
reached from the stage by going into an outside hall and 
ascending on an elevator. 

Mansfield's trouble was that he felt every time he went 
to his room as if he had left the theatre and the atmos- 
phere of the play behind. This made it unbelievably 
difficult to keep in character from act to act. Besides, 
like a general, he liked to be within earshot of the din of 
things. He missed the faint echo of the entr'acte music, 
the applause, the bustle of shifting scenes, the indistinct 



i 9 o 4 ] THE DIN OF BATTLE 411 

hum of the voices of the actors who were on the stage while 
he was not. The normal noises of the theatre did not 
disturb him, they stimulated him. While the curtain was 
up his dressing-room door was open, and through the 
light hanging which draped the opening he was sub- 
conscious of the progress of the comedy or the tragedy of 
which he was a part. This was what he missed in the 
New Amsterdam, and after the remoteness of the first few 
nights up the elevator shaft he insisted on a dressing-room 
being built on the stage. This was done, and in this big 
canvas room, kept year after year for his use, he passed all 
of the evening of a play when he was not on the stage. 
This demand, however, for a dressing-room on the stage 
even a temporary canvas structure while so handsome 
and well-equipped a room was provided for him upstairs 
was accounted one of Mansfield's eccentricities. 

Campbell, in his life of Mrs. Siddons, quotes a letter of 
the great actress in which she writes : " If the representa- 
tive of Constance (in Shakespeare's 'King John') shall 
ever forget, even behind the scenes, those disastrous events 
which impel her to break forth into the overwhelming 
effusions of wounded friendship, disappointed ambition, 
and maternal tenderness, upon the moment of her appear- 
ance in the third act she must inevitably fall short of that 
high and glorious colouring which is indispensable to the 
painting of this magnificent portrait. . . . Whenever I 
was called upon to impersonate the character of Con- 
stance, I never, from the beginning of the play to the end 
of my part in it, once suffered my dressing-room door to 
be closed, in order that my mind might constantly be 
fixed on those distressing events, which, by this means, I 
could plainly hear going on upon the stage, the terrible 
effects of which progress were to be represented to me. 



4 i2 RICHARD MANSFIELD [i 904 

... In short, the spirit of the whole drama took pos- 
session of my mind and frame, by my attention being in- 
cessantly riveted on the passing scenes." 

"Ivan the Terrible" was acted for two weeks and 
thereafter in repertoire for two years. The third week at 
the New Amsterdam began with "Old Heidelberg" under 
circumstances which displayed Mansfield's wilfulness and 
fortitude. On the Sunday after his first seven appear- 
ances as Ivan he slipped and fell in his home on Riverside 
Drive, and the pain soon told him that he had sprained 
his ankle. It was the same treacherous ankle which had 
turned on him in Edinburgh twenty-four years before and 
in Baltimore two and a half years later, when he returned 
to New York little thinking to play the Baron Chevrial. 
The foot was put in a plaster cast, and it was assumed, of 
course, that he would not act for several weeks. 

To this he made emphatic objections, and during the 
week following he went through the performance of "Ivan 
the Terrible" seven times. Fortunately, the Tzar's robes 
reached the floor. Moreover, he was on his feet very 
little in this play except to enter and leave the stage. But 
in the last act, in the delirium of the death scene, where the 
infuriated old Tzar summons his failing energies to reach 
GodunofF, falls, and rises to fall again and again, and is 
finally dragged back to his chair to breathe out his spirit 
in a final burst of choler, Mansfield's absorption in the 
role cost him suffering, of which he said nothing till months 
after. One night when he was dragged back to his chair 
there was a pause not in the " business" of the part. 
Whether or not he had fainted was not at once apparent. 
It lasted but a moment, then his eyes opened, and he 
stared about and completed the mimic tragedy. When 
the curtain fell that night the audience stood in their 



i 9 o 4 ] TRIBUTE TO IRVING 413 

places and called for him in vain. He was carried to his 
dressing-room and did not appear. 

It was one thing to act Ivan with a foot in a plaster cast, 
to act Karl Heinrich was quite another. In this char- 
acter his feet were not only in evidence in trim boots, 
but the spirit of youth seemed to spring from his dancing 
heels. The doctor removed the cast on Sunday, but for- 
bade him using his feet for several days. Mansfield 
listened to the advice and did as he pleased. 

The next evening he acted the young Prince in "Old 
Heidelberg," and those present saw an altogether remark- 
able evidence of his reserved powers. His feet were prac- 
tically leaden so far as agility was concerned, yet, such 
resources of gesture and posture and litheness of the body 
above the knees did he possess, that it was quite a new 
Prince he acted for a few nights, though as apparently 
youthful and buoyant and agile as ever. 

During his last week at the New Amsterdam Sir Henry 
Irving acted at the Harlem Opera House. On Friday 
evening they had supper together in the company of other 
friends, at the Plaza Hotel. They parted without reserva- 
tion better friends than they had ever been. The next 
day Irving sailed for England. They exchanged greet- 
ings at Christmas, and the message of Irving's death came 
the next autumn while Mansfield was studying "Don 
Carlos." When representatives of the press asked for 
some expression on the character of the English actor, he 
looked up from the pages of Schiller's tragedy and re- 
peated one line: 

An atom of his soul had made a god of thee. 

In the spring he went to San Francisco and appeared 
fourteen times at the Columbia Theatre. He had not 



4H RICHARD MANSFIELD [1904 

acted in California since 1893. For some reason he 
carried unhappy recollections of that visit and prophesied 
disaster on his return. He did not mind being a bad 
prophet under such agreeable circumstances. Prices for 
his engagement were advanced to a figure commanded 
only by foreign artists of the first rank who discreetly kept 
the bloom of novelty on their appearances by long inter- 
vals between. Every seat for his fourteen appearances 
was sold before he entered the city, and holders of tickets 
caring to speculate received six, eight, and ten times the 
original price. Every one was most kind, and until his 
next visit, two years later, this fortnight in San Francisco 
remained a treasured remembrance. 



CHAPTER THIRTY 

(1904-1905) 

Campaigning begins to tell Characters he planned to act His 
attitude toward certain roles he did not act Revives his reper- 
toire Shylock to an audience of one Changes in the " busi- 
ness" of 'Richard III" Shylock's accent Intuitions in char- 
acterisation Preparations for a performance Distress as Hyde 
A biblical repertoire "The Misanthrope" Superstitions 
His thirteenth wedding anniversary. 

MANSFIELD was now famous and rich, but thirty years 
of campaigning were telling on him. When he returned to 
the city for rehearsals in the fall of 1904 he talked con- 
tinually of his weariness. His spirit of unrest and dis- 
content had made this attitude familiar during many 
years, so that it was not so significant as his confession 
that he began to feel unequal to the strain. He had great 
difficulty getting into harness, "getting the stride" as he 
expressed it. There often came to his lips the lament of 
weary King Richard the night before Bosworth: "I have 
not that alacrity of spirit I was wont to have." 

This weariness did not manifest itself while he was on 
the stage, however, but once. Before an audience he 
showed no diminution of his energy and fire or of that 
hypnotic faculty of commanding the concentrated interest 
of those before him. Personality radiated from him. It 
made little matter whether one liked him, or liked the play, 

415 



4 i6 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1904 

or liked the character, while he was in sight he commanded 
every eye. 

His position now permitted him to do much as he liked 
in the choice of plays. The vehicle was of secondary 
consequence. Whenever and wherever he appeared the 
theatre was packed with people who came to see Richard 
Mansfield. It was like him to use his accumulated power 
and profit to the advantage of the public. From now on 
he presented such characters as he felt the public should 
be made acquainted with in spite of prevailing taste. His 
immediate plan was to revive his repertoire, in abeyance 
since his success in such elaborate productions as "Cyrano 
de Bergerac," 'King Henry V," 'Julius Caesar," and 
"Ivan the Terrible" had made it as impractical as it was 
unnecessary to "travel" more than one play at a time. 
With this accomplished he proposed to acquaint the pub- 
lic with performances of Moliere, Schiller, the poetic plays 
of Ibsen, and other masters 

This decision was arrived at after winnowing through 
the accumulated manuscripts and plans of years. There 
were many great characters which he strove continually to 
have embodied in adequate plays. Among these were 
Cagliostro, Rembrandt, Dean Swift, Frederick the Great, 
Omar Khayyam, Grimaldi, Moliere, Cardinal Mazarin, 
John Paul Jones, Voltaire, and Emperor Frederick Wil- 
liam. Those were the characters he would have loved to 
embody. Hundreds of others were suggested by the 
daily influx of manuscripts. 

Aaron Burr, Benedict Arnold, and Alexander the Great 
appeared to be the most thought-of characters for Mans- 
field in the amateur mind. The number of plays on each 
of these men received each year reduced them to some- 
what of a joke. And so, as he looked over the weekly 



i 9 o 4 ] PLAYS UNACTED 417 

accumulation, he would exclaim: "Ah, here's our old 
friend Benedict Arnold this morning," or "Some soul in 
Michigan has Burritis again," or "Alexander once more, 
eh ? His ambition won't rest beyond the Styx. He has 
heard of America and wants to conquer it with me as his 
humble weapon. The scalp of my reputation would be 
the only trophy of such a campaign. Send it back." 

Of all the remote corners from which plays were sent 
him, perhaps the strangest was Iceland. In 1903 an ex- 
plorer, William Napier of Pittsburg, returned from an 
expedition in the frozen North, and brought with him the 
manuscript of a drama by Professor Einarsson of that 
arctic country. It was called "Sword and Crozier." The 
author wrote in his letter to Mansfield: 'Your great repu- 
tation has reached Iceland, and in committing my precious 
verses to you I am sure they will be crowned as no other 
artist could. It is said you speak many languages. Since 
German is among them and Icelandic is not, it is into 
German that I have translated the play that you may 
understand it. I could make an English paraphrase, but 
fearful English it would surely be." 

In the search for new characters the Shakespearian 
gallery was continually under scrutiny. Timon of Athens, 
FalstafF, and King John were often on the verge of pro- 
duction. He was not disposed, however, to revive a 
classic role to which he could bring nothing new not 
merely new "business," for which when advanced for its 
own sake he had contempt, but a new interpretation of 
character and this precluded his acting Hamlet or Othello, 
for he often expressed his belief that Edwin Booth's acting 
of the Dane and Tomasso Salvini's acting of the Moor 
left no hope of any other artist re-creating them. 

His reason for not appearing as Macbeth was quite apart 



4 i 8 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1904 

from such considerations as these. He had this role com- 
pletely composed during years of study, and he longed to 
add the Scotch King to his repertoire. He refrained from 
lack of a youthful, beautiful, bewitching Lady Macbeth. 
In acting the royal murderer he would have accented the 
native probity of a soul besieged by an ambitious enchant- 
ress who softly, stealthily, ingeniously, and intrepidly 
stole away his heart, his conscience, and his will. He 
repeatedly said that he knew of but one woman in his life- 
time endowed physically, mentally, and temperamentally 
to embody the irresistible excuse of Macbeth's fall, and 
she was Ellen Terry in her youth. To his mind no 
amount of tragic fire or subtlety in this role made up for 
the lack of physical allurements and of the complete un- 
derstanding and mastery of their power over the will of a 
man. 

He made up his mind very early in his career that " King 
Lear" was not for him, but it was repeatedly suggested to 
him until he was driven to a state of mind expressed in a 
letter to his friend, George Seibel: "My bete noir is 'King 
Lear' because some one is always worrying me about that 
old lunatic. Like Uncle Dick's King Charles, I fear he 
will soon crop up in everything I say or do or write." 

He debated a long time on Byron's "Sardanapalus," 
but his final reason for discarding it was that he disliked 
to build up the interest throughout a play to a mechanical 
climax like the death of the King in the flames of his 
burning city in this play which his instincts told him 
would be sure to go wrong and destroy the illusion his 
acting had created. Goethe's "Egmont" was often in 
mind. Stephen Phillips's "Herod" was written for him, 
but when the play was finished he had changed his mind 
and the character repelled him. In a letter to the writer 



i 9 o 4 ] AN AUDIENCE OF ONE 419 

he epitomised it in these characteristic terms: " Herod 
for reasons of policy murders his handsome brother-in- 
law and thereby loses the love of his beautiful wife Mari- 
anne. Failing to regain her love he has her murdered 
and then has a fit because he discovers she is dead. This 
is the tragedy of Herod." 

For his previous spring engagement in New York he 
had revived "Beau Brummell," "A Parisian Romance," 
and "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." He retained "Ivan the 
Terrible" in repertoire, and for the season of 1904-1905 
he reappeared as Shylock and King Richard III for the 
first time since the spring of 1898. 

His Shylock this season revealed a new make-up of 
the Jew, quite distinct from his earlier expressions. The 
hair was thin and wispish. The beard was no longer long, 
broad, and matted, but short, spare, and grizzled. The 
cheeks were yellowishly pale, the eyes deep, the whole 
aspect of the countenance was aged and ascetic. This was 
the Shylock which Edgar Cameron painted a few months 
later. 

In Boston, one morning, he acted Shylock to an audience 
of one. He was playing at the Colonial and Ada Rehan 
was playing at the Majestic. The two theatres faced on 
different streets, but their stage doors were approached by 
the same passage. The morning after Mansfield's re- 
appearance as Shylock they met here on their way to 
rehearsal. 

In her hand Miss Rehan held a newspaper with an 

account of Mansfield's performance the night before. 

'How I wish I could have been there!" she exclaimed. 

' I have never seen your Shylock, and I so wish I might." 

'Then, if you can spare the time, you shall now," he 
replied. 



420 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1904 

They turned together into the Colonial stage door and to 
Miss Rehan was given the seat of honour at the prompter's 
table. The rehearsal of "King Richard III" was aban- 
doned, and instead Mansfield and his company acted the 
Shylock scenes from "The Merchant of Venice," though 
without scenery or costumes, to their distinguished audi- 
ence of one. 

The Monday of the second week was devoted to his 
reappearance as Richard III, and that night his nerves 
betrayed him as they never did before or after. After the 
two performances, Saturday, he had rehearsed Richard III 
all day and night Sunday and all day Monday. When it 
came time for his entrance as Gloster, Monday evening, he 
appeared and began his scene, but presently, after a 
pause, he looked up at the audience and said, with pa- 
thetic weariness: "It's no use. I can't do it. I'm too tired. 
The words won't come." Then he crept off the stage. 

The effect on both players and audience was electric. 
No one said a word, but the suspicion in every one's mind 
was conveyed by silent glances. In a moment the curtain 
fell. 

He went to his dressing-room and threw himself on a 
chair. He was a man to whom, at such times, it was im- 
possible to offer either sympathy or assistance. Every- 
body and everything was at an ominous stand-still for ten 
interminable minutes. No one knew what to do or what 
to say. Finally he raised his head, drew himself up, and 
returned silently to the stage with a signal to the stage 
manager to raise the curtain. He finished the scene 
securely, and rose as the evening progressed to his accus- 
tomed heights in this character. It was the only time in his 
life that his memory succumbed to the tax he put on his 
vital energies. 




RICHARD MANSFIELD AS SHYLOCK 

From an oil painting by Edgar Cameron 



SHAKESPEARE UNCUT 421 

He altered the "business" of Richard in two instances 
in this revival. One was to omit the opening soliloquy 
"Now is the winter of our discontent." Up to this time 
he had a significant effect with the prayer-book when he 
enters between two monks on the gallery at the head of 
the stairs before the crown is offered him in Crosby 
Palace. The Lord Mayor calls attention to him in this 
line: "See, where he stands between two clergymen!" 
and Buckingham continues: 

Two props of virtue for a Christian prince, 
To stay him from the fall of vanity: 
And, see, a book of prayer in his hand, 
True ornaments to know a holy man. 

Gloster's attention appears to be piously riveted on the 
prayer-book, but the moment the others shift their glance 
he turns the prayer-book around. It pointed the Duke's 
hypocrisy neatly. 

At supper, one evening, after the play, some one re- 
marked on the cleverness of the point. "Mere business," 
replied Mansfield. "Any one could make that point. 
There is no acting required." The next time he played 
the part he put all the hypocrisy in his manner, he acted 
it, and omitted the "business" of the upside-down prayer- 
book, nor did he ever restore it. 

His Richard performance lasted from eight o'clock until 
half-past eleven. 'Yet," he wrote me, "papers complain 
that my version is a merciless 'cut* from the original text. 
I am thinking of adding this note to my advertisements: 
'On Saturday evening, the a8th, the entire tragedy of 
"Richard III," by William Shakespeare, will be presented 
by Richard Mansfield and his company. The parts will 
be read. The performance will commence at 7.45 sharp 



422 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1904 

and will terminate Sunday morning approximately at 
5 A.M.'" 

These two Shakespearian roles revealed the authority 
he had at last acquired with the public. When first 
acted, both were treated with consideration by thought- 
ful people, but neither drew large audiences. Now they 
were towers of strength in his repertoire, and neither 
was henceforth played to fewer people than the theatre 
would hold. Critical praise of them was unreserved, yet 
he insisted that the quality of his performance of each role 
was essentially what it had been when he played it years 
before. He planned to act "The Merchant of Venice" 
at least once without scenery, before dark draperies and 
in dialect as he believed it should be played. But it came 
to naught. When he disclosed this plan one evening in 
Chicago, James O'Donnell Bennett called his attention to 
a passage from Schlegel: 

"Shylock is everything but a common Jew, he possesses 
a strongly marked and original individuality, and yet we 
perceive a slight touch of Judaism in everything he says 
or does. We almost fancy we can hear a light whisper of 
the Jewish accent in the written words, such as we still 
find sometimes in the higher classes, notwithstanding their 
social refinement. In tranquil moments all that is foreign 
to the European blood and Christian sentiments is less 
perceptible, but in passion the national stamp comes out 
more strongly marked. All these inimitable niceties the 
finished art of a great actor can alone properly express." 

'That's precisely the whole substance of the matter," 
exclaimed Mansfield, "I am often tempted to broaden and 
deepen the slight touch of accent I give certain words in 
Shylock's mouth into a pronounced dialect. That would 
be appropriate. It would enrich the colouring of the role, 



igo4] SHYLOCK'S ACCENT 423 

and it would intensify what is most important in defining 
the man his utter aloofness from the social code under 
which his life is lived. He is an alien in his mental atti- 
tude, in his speech, and in his conduct. Therein lies the 
pathos of the situation, and the more firmly you accentuate 
his forlorn aloofness the more truly you present a tragic 
embodiment. Shylock's fourth word upon his first en- 
trance suggests a foreign accent. 'Three thousand ducats/ 
he says, and adds ' Well.' Some actors have said 'Well ?' 
in the manner of an interrogatory exclamation. 1 think 
it is a very positive declaration, as though he said 'Very 
good' or 'It is well.' Shakespeare probably had in mind 
the Italian ' bene,' and so I choose to come down heavily 
upon the word, and utter it as if denoting complacent 
satisfaction with the proposition of the Merchant. This 
single word may be spoken in a manner to indicate at 
once the money-lender's alien accent. When I played 
Shylock as a boy at Derby I gave him the full measure of 
the accent, I now only suggest." 

Mr. Bennett in recounting this wrote: "Mr. Mansfield 
then ran through Shylock's first long speech in the manner 
in which it might be spoken to intensify this idea of its 
complete foreignness. The utterances were amazingly 
rapid, the tone nasal, the shrugs and bendings frequent. 
All the vowels were lengthened and the <d's' became 't's/ 
as, for example, 'My meaning in saying he ees a goot man 
ees to have you understand me that he ees suffeecient.' 
'Tripolis' became 'Treepolis,' and the accounting of the 
perils of the deep fairly tumbled from his lips in a rush of 
cadenced syllables, crackling consonants, and rotund, 
melodious vowels 'There be land ratz and vatter ratz, 
vatter tieves and land tieves; I mean pirates; and then 
there is the peril of vatters, vinds, and rocks. The man ees 



424 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1904 

notwithstanding, suffeecient ?' Before the listener was the 
embodiment of a fluent, emphatic, obsequious Jewish 
money-lender, who, though he was obsequious, was deeply 
intent upon driving his bargain, and who set forth its 
various phases of possible loss with all the positiveness 
that sharp downright accent here and a stern rolling em- 
phasis there could bestow. And not the least wonderful 
feature of the reading was that, though it was in dialect, 
it was not grotesque." 

Then Mansfield referred to his suggestions of alien birth 
and speech in other roles: "I tried in my embodiment of 
Napoleon to differentiate the Corsican from the French- 
men about him by throwing into my speech the hint of a 
foreign accent. Afterward I learned that Napoleon did 
actually speak French with a pronounced accent. Now, 
what could have impelled me to employ the suggestion of 
an accent in the first place ? Sometimes these impulses 
to do a certain thing in portraying an historical character 
turn out to be almost uncannily accurate. 

'The first evening I played 'Ivan the Terrible' I sat 
down at my dressing-table to make up with a full, flowing 
beard. But I put aside the material at the last moment 
and indicated the Tzar's beard and the locks on his head 
with a few straggling hairs as though his beard had been 
eaten away by moths. Among those who came on the 
stage after the play was a traveller who had seen the por- 
trait of Ivan that is in the Kremlin at Moscow. The 
traveller said: 'Your make-up is an amazingly accurate 
duplicate of the Kremlin portrait of Ivan I saw last sum- 
mer, and it is a likeness said to have been painted in the 
Tzar's lifetime.' 

"In the last act of 'Ivan the Terrible' there is a moment 
in which for no reason except that it seems a perfectly 



1904] INSTINCTIVE CHARACTERISATIONS 425 

natural thing to do, I make the monarch's progress across 
the stage break into a little, swift, pattering run, almost 
like a child's. Since that bit of acting was introduced 
into this role a famous American physician has told me 
that that eccentricity of locomotion is a phase of the ner- 
vous and physical decay of which Ivan IV is supposed to 
have died. 'There are more things in heaven and earth, 
Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.' In 
Hamlet's dictum, it seems to me, is some sort of explana- 
tion of these little instinctive returns to the actual in a 
player's treatment of an historical figure." 

Mansfield's communicativeness about his characters on 
this occasion was unusual. He rarely explained himself. 
He was now studying Moliere's "The Misanthrope," yet 
no one dared mention it to him. In good time he would 
say when he expected to act it, and the production would 
be made ready but without one word from him about his 
interpretation of Alceste. The evolution of a character in 
Mansfield's mind remained unexplained. He retired 
into what Pater called "mystic isolation." Like Rossetti, 
he became "A racked and tortured medium." But when 
he came to rehearsal, even to the first, it was with full 
possession of the new character, just as later, when he 
went on the stage to give the character to the audience, it 
had full possession of him. 

His performance of a role even of those which he 
retained in his repertoire from his early successes whether 
in comedy or tragedy, was to him a sacred work, almost 
sacramental. He was first in the theatre, never less than 
two and sometimes three hours before his first entrance. 
This time he spent in the seclusion of his dressing-room. 

But the preparation did not begin there. In the after- 
noon he took a long walk. When he returned he would 



426 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1904 

see no visitors, none of his household, and his servants 
attended him in silence. He ate a light repast at five 
o'clock with a book for company at table. Then he re- 
tired to his own apartment for a short nap and a bath, and 
rode away in his unbroken silence to the theatre. At this 
hour he wore an old great-coat with cape, a slouch hat well 
down over his eyes, and a muffler over the lower half of 
his face. He made it imperative that the carriage be 
draughtless. 

And so into the dressing-room. When the call came 
for his entrance and he emerged from his room a metamor- 
phosis had taken place. It was not the actor who went 
upon the scene, it was the character. By some process, 
and it has been called self-hypnotism, he became the 
person he was playing. 

He carried the manner to and from and into his dressing- 
room. He acted the role all the evening on and off the 
scene, and it fell away from him only as he put aside the 
trappings and emerged from the dressing-room his own self 
bound for home. He preferred not to see any one during 
a performance. The nights he played certain characters 
it was inviting trouble to attempt to bring him out of the 
character with disassociated topics, however important in 
themselves. 

When he played Brummell he was courtesy itself, but 
disorder, untidiness, or any offences to the five senses 
were met with the high-bred resentment of the Beau. 
Nothing disturbed him on Baron Chevrial night, his mind 
was on Rosa and Marcelle and the effect he was to pro- 
duce on them; nothing else mattered. He was equally 
independent of extraneous conditions when he acted 
Bluntschli and Dudgeon. There was always a cloud over 
the stage on Richard, Ivan, and Hyde nights. Undis- 



i9o 4 ] THE EFFECT OF HYDE 427 

tracted, all went well, but disorder, inattention, wrong 
lights were met in the spirit of the imperious characters 
who had possession of him. 

No critics knew half so well as he how much the effects 
produced in the early acts of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" 
depended on the lights. He never went on the stage for 
the transformations that he was not in an agony of appre- 
hension lest the effect be spoiled. This apprehension 
stimulated his imagination and he grew to suspecting 
always that the lights were wrong, so that " Dr. Jekyll and 
Mr. Hyde " nights became the same terror to him and all 
about him on the stage, though for a different reason, 
that they were to audiences. He often said that on these 
nights he suffered actual martyrdom. The part was not 
long. Yet such was his distress that repeatedly he de- 
clared that he could not live through Hyde another night. 
In these last years he acted it only when the other pieces 
of the repertoire were overplayed. This performance had 
a remarkable hold on the public, and it held the record 
for attendance and receipts in nearly every theatre in 
which it was acted. It drew to the Walnut Street Theatre, 
Philadelphia, the oldest theatre in America, the record 
audience since it was opened in 1806. 

After a night of Jekyll and Hyde he usually saw no one 
and supped alone. His friend, "Jack" Lincoln, had this 
in mind on the last night of Mansfield's Chicago run this 
winter of 1904-1905, when he was invited to come to have 
a farewell supper, and pleaded an indisposition, adding 
that he was coming to see him play, however. Mansfield 
gave finality to the invitation with this note: "Caro mio 
Jacko: I think if you are well enough to see Jekyll and 
Hyde you are well enough to see me and if I can endure 
playing Jekyll and Hyde I can stand seeing you." 



428 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1904 

When he reached Philadelphia in November of this 
season he found an acute situation between the theatres 
and the newspapers. Each group had combined against 
the other. The editors finally placed the whole matter of 
theatrical mention on the basis of advertising, and the 
manager who spent the most money on advertising 
received the longest criticism (not necessarily the most 
favourable), and it was given precedence over the others. 
Mr. Wright Lorimer was acting David in "The Shepherd 
King" at the time and as he began his Philadelphia en- 
gagement the same evening as Mansfield, his manager 
multiplied the customary advertising space many times 
and had the satisfaction of seeing his star lead the column 
in two papers with Mansfield tagging on. 

Mansfield understood the commercialised situation, but, 
in an amusing letter to Mrs. Mansfield that day, pre- 
tended that "biblical drama" had captured the country, 
and if he expected to maintain his position of preeminence 
he would at once have to provide himself with a biblical 
repertoire. He submitted the following as likely to 
"draw": 

MR. MANSFIELD 

next week will appear in a series of 

GREAT BIBLICAL CHARACTERS. 

Monday and Saturday evenings Mr. Mansfield as 

Solomon. 

On this occasion all King Solomon's wives and con- 
cubines will appear (by arrangement with E. E. Rice). 

Tuesday Evening Mr. Mansfield as Absalom. 

Mr. Mansfield will hang by his hair from a tree during 
an entire act. One performance only. (Mr. Mans- 
field will use his own hair.) Note: As this per- 
formance cannot be repeated, there will be a slight 
increase in the price of seats. 



A BIBLICAL REPERTOIRE 429 

Wednesday Evening Mr. Mansfield as Nebuchadnezzar. 
Mr. Mansfield in this extraordinary impersonation 
will, at the close of the play, crawl on all fours and eat 
grass and other vegetables. 

Thursday evening and Saturday Matinee Mr. Mansfield 

as Moses. 

This play opens with the bull-rushing episode and 
concludes happily with the advent of the Golden Calf. 

Friday Evening Jonah and the Whale. 

Mr. Mansfield's first appearance as Jonah. This 
play finally removes all doubt as to why the whale 
objected to Jonah. 

The custom of playing his New York engagements when 
the opera season had waned, which was established in 
1904, was followed thereafter without exception. This 
spring of 1905 he reappeared at the New Amsterdam 
Theatre on Monday evening, March 20, and changed the 
bill nightly for the first three weeks. 

The acclaim with which he was received was beyond 
words. The neglected Richard III and Shylock were now 
the inspiration of the greatest enthusiasm. One evening, 
after he had been called before the curtain for the tenth 
time, he turned wearily toward his dressing-room to find 
Emma Thursby and her sister at the door. The light of 
a peculiar pleasure shone through the mask of King 
Richard. As he grasped the hand of this pet of his mother, 
he thought of her whom he would have liked best of all 
to have witness these triumphs, in spite of her declara- 
tion, "see that boy of mine making a fool of himself," or 
her withdrawal of his allowance when she heard he was 
"an entertainer in London." 

'What do you suppose my mother would think of me 
now? Do you think she'd be pleased?' 1 But before 
Miss Thursby could answer, his eye twinkled and he con- 



43 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 



[1905 



tinued: 'But she would spend all my money for bric-a- 
bracs!" 

'The Misanthrope" was now ready, and it was acted 
the fourth Monday evening, April lo, 1 and throughout 
that week. Mansfield had no illusion about the possible 
popularity of the Moliere classic. He presented it for the 
pure joy of acting Alceste, for the satisfaction of adding 
Moliere's name to his repertoire, and as a gratuitous 
thank-ofFering to his public. This was the first time that 
a comedy by Moliere had been acted on an American 
stage in English by professional artists. A comedy 
founded on "Le Malade Imaginaire" and called 'The 
Hypochondriac" had been acted occasionally in an early 
period of the American theatre. The translation of "Le 
Misanthrope" by Katharine Prescott Wormeley was used. 
The performance in every character and every detail 
provided an intellectual and artistic occasion of pure joy. 
How he did work on everybody and on everything with 
the pains of Fragonard on a panel! What intelligent 
response from the artists! What a delightful ripple of 
appreciative merriment all the evening long from the audi- 
ence! And the critics responded with praise that crowned 
his high intention and execution. It was even more popu- 
lar than he had anticipated, though it was designed essen- 
tially for the few. 



Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Mr. A. G. Andrews. 
Mr. Leslie Kenyon. 
Miss Eleanor Barry. 
Miss Irene Prahar. 
Miss Gertrude Gheen. 
Mr. Morton Selton. 
Mr. Arthur Berthelet. 
Mr. Hamilton Coleman. 
Mr. Henry Wenman. 
Mr. Francis D. McGinn. 
Miss Mildred Morris. 



1 The cast was: 












Alceste 












Philinte 












Oronte 












Celimene 












Eliante 












Arsinoe 












Acaste 












Clitandre 












Basque 
Dubois 












An officer 












A Maid 


i 












RICHARD MANSFIELD AS ALCESTE 



i9os] "THE MISANTHROPE' 431 

Celimene's salon was an exquisite white and gold re- 
production of an architectural print of a Louis XIII salon 
by Meissonier. Mansfield found it when a boy in Tot- 
tenham Court Road, London, and had kept it all these 
years in sheer admiration of its delicate formal beauties. 
It hung in his bedroom for many years before he died. 
As Moliere had himself acted Alceste, Mansfield made up 
after the familiar portraits of the French dramatist and 
comedian. 

The character of Alceste had made a profound appeal 
to Mansfield's sense both of humour and of life. It has 
been called the mental autobiography of Moliere, and 
those who knew Mansfield had no difficulty in reading 
him into the character. The misapprehension of the 
world made both men cynical. Both drove their relent- 
less way regardless of cost, believing in their own point of 
view so implicitly they could not conceive of any other. 
Alceste was a man of radical temperament, extreme 
earnestness, delicate sensibilities, rugged honesty, and a 
mental focus so direct as to bring him under the indict- 
ment of eccentricity. Mansfield was all these. Uncon- 
sciously, perhaps, this analogy begot a sympathy which 
gave remarkable verisimilitude to Mansfield's character- 
isation, and he added grace, distinction, courtliness, a 
piquant charm, and an appealing humanity in his per- 
formance of the role. From all quarters there were 
hearty acknowledgments, not less of the fresh evidence of 
his scholarly penetration and facile technique, than of the 
happy issue of his renewed effort to elevate the standards 
of the stage of which he was now the acknowledged 
leader. 

The approach of his thirteenth wedding anniversary 
showed again that signs, omens, and dreams all had their 



432 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1905 

influence on Mansfield. He allowed his "intuitions" to 
guide him in most important crises. "Something tells 
me," was frequently on his lips. He was especially sus- 
ceptible to the traditional superstitions of the theatre. 
The appearance of a black cat on the stage gave him 
comfort. He would not allow an umbrella to be raised in 
the theatre, and a quotation from Macbeth quite upset 
him. The "tag," or last line, of a play was never spoken 
at rehearsal. If it was his speech, he would read to the 
last line and conclude quite seriously with his finger to his 
lips: "And the rest is a secret." 

He often cited coincidences in his experience like the 
dream years before in London in which he saw D'Oyly 
Carte's secretary coming for him; and here is another 
strange experience as written by his own hand, but with- 
out date: 

" The strain of two performances had left me in a state 
of almost intolerable mental excitement. I returned to 
my room in this nervous condition and threw myself on a 
sofa in order to relax. Try as I would, however, I could 
not shake off the obsession of a character I was studying 
at the time that of an educated, intelligent man who was 
goaded by a train of almost fatal circumstances to com- 
mit a series of brutal murders. While I was revolving 
the psychological problem of how far this man was re- 
sponsible for his deeds and to what extent he was the 
victim of circumstances, the door which I had locked 
suddenly opened, and the most hideous man I had ever 
seen boldly entered. He was ghastly pale, with a long, 
black beard, and wore a heavy fur coat. 

"Before I could spring to my feet this phantom had 
vanished, and upon examining the door I found it securely 
fastened. For days I could not shake off the effects of 



19 os] A WEDDING ANNIVERSARY 433 

this uncanny visitation, although I had attributed it to a 
nightmare. 

"A few evenings later I visited the slums in search of 
local colour for the part, and upon returning to the busi- 
ness district of the city I was attracted to a wax figure 
museum. Almost involuntarily I was seized with a desire 
to enter. The proprietor told me it was about closing time 
and he could not admit me, but by feeing him I was per- 
mitted to go in. I visited the various exhibitions, and 
finally entered the chamber of horrors. To my consterna- 
tion the first wax figure that struck my eye was that of my 
uncanny visitor. Feature for feature it was the same. 
There were the repulsive ugliness, the ghastly pallor, the 
long, black beard, and even the heavy fur coat. 

"'That,' said the proprietor, 'is the effigy of a well- 
known murderer. Some people thought he was the 
victim of circumstances, but his crimes were so nu- 
merous and so cold-blooded that he suffered the death 
penalty.' 

"As he proceeded to enumerate the crimes I experienced 
a cold perspiration. They were almost identical with 
those committed by the hero of the drama I had been 
studying at the time of the ghostly visitation. 

"To this day I cannot decide whether the case was an 
odd mixture of nightmare and coincidence or whether it 
was a psychological example of thought producing spiritual 
manifestation." 

As the day of the anniversary approached, Mrs. Mans- 
field filled the house with young guests and a dinner and 
party were arranged. To console him, everyone hunted 
up good omens and charms, and after dinner he submitted 
cheerfully to the most absurd incantations and devices for 
driving off bad luck. 



434 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1905 

The health of the "bride and groom" were proposed by 
Augustus Tyler, with a Southerner's gallantry to his own 
lady in the reservation of the first line: 

Here's to the sweetest woman in the world, 

Bar one; 
And here's to the greatest actor in the world; 

Bar none. 

Mansfield found much pleasure in the letters and tele- 
grams and verses of good wishes, but his especial comfort 
was a sonnet, written for the occasion by Vivian Burnett, 
and entitled "Recompense": 

To scorn eternal from his natal day 
Poor luckless Thirteen seemed by fate consigned, 
In every breath denied by Humankind, 
By brother numbers shunned at work or play. 
I never saw him, but his cheeks, ash gray, 
And tears that did his dumb eyes nearly blind, 
And furrowed brow and quivering lip combined 
The pinch of his heart's anguish to betray- 
But once. 

This morn I found him radiant-faced 
(His dimpling mouth did Pleasure's self possess), 
Enthroned 'midst flattering brothers crowded thick, 
"Full recompense," cried he to me, "I taste, 
'Tis mine to mark a year of happiness 
That Hymen grants to Beatrice and Dick. 



CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE 

(1905-1906) 

A summer of illness "Don Carlos" Poetical embellishments 
More addresses Discipline on the stage As to productions 
Creating a role "Acting acting" Acting in every-day life A 
warning from his physicians San Francisco under difficulties 
Triumph Christmas on the train Bernhardt offers him her 
Paris theatre Announces his last years on the stage. 

AFTER Moliere, Schiller. And at this time with peculiar 
appositeness, for 1905 was the centenary of the poet's 
death. The choice narrowed to Wallenstein and Don 
Carlos. Mansfield would have preferred to act the stout 
warrior, but he believed there would be no interest in the 
epic. It was well enough to do the fine thing occasion- 
ally, as in "The Misanthrope," in disregard of all con- 
siderations but art, but such experiments are not only 
expensive in themselves, but in their reaction. He be- 
lieved vastly more people would be interested in '''Don 
Carlos." On this play his final decision fell, and it was 
announced for the autumn. 

This was one of the productions in the preparation of 
which his wishes could have reached his manager by no 
less subtle means than telepathy. Up to a month before 
the first night Mr. Stevens could get nothing from him 
either by letter or by going to New London beyond an 
indefinite: "Go ahead, you know what's wanted." Added 

435 



43 6 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 



to this was his own indecision about doing the play at all. 
One day a letter would come directing his manager to 
rush everything, only to be followed twenty-four hours 
later by a telegram to stop work till further instructions. 
Three different times the preparations were started and 
stopped. The final decision to present the play was 
reached so late that the order for the scenery was parcelled 
out to five studios in order to have it finished in time. 

Like fever-born Rodion this Spanish Prince was the 
child of distress. Mansfield was ill all through the sum- 
mer and resisted an operation to the end. He had to sub- 
mit, however, and the opening of his season was postponed 
a fortnight. After ten days he came to New York and 
began rehearsals, but with much suffering. Again the 
opening of the season was postponed, and for the second 
time he submitted himself to the surgeon. His vitality 
was remarkable, and in a few days more he was back at 
work with his accustomed vigour. But from that time 
on he suffered a distress which gradually laid him low. 
His fortitude was such, however, that his audiences never 
suspected the effort which those brilliant, unsparing perform- 
ances cost; nor did even the players at his elbow know at 
what a price he performed those emotional and physical 
prodigies, possible only to one of his dynamic personality. 

The season was finally announced to open October 30, 
in Chicago, but a preliminary performance of ' Don 
Carlos" was given at the Valentine Theatre in To- 
ledo, Ohio, on Friday evening, October 27. l Mansfield 



1 The cast was: 

Philip II, King of Spain . 
Don Carlos, Son of Philip 
Alexander Farnese 
Marquis de Posa 
Duke of Alva . 
Count Lerma . 
Duke of Feria . 



Mr. Fuller Mellish. 
Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Mr. Thomas Mills. 
Mr. A. G. Andrews. 
Mr. Leslie Kenyon. 
Mr. Sheridan Block. 
Mr. Henry Wenman. 




RICHARD MANSFIELD AS DON CARLOS 



DON CARLOS 



437 



constructed his acting version from R. D. Boylan's 
translation. 

He acted "Don Carlos" exclusively in Chicago, and it 
held a conspicuous position in his repertoire throughout 
the season. It is a play that invites respect without 
enthusiasm except in Carlos's torrent of " passionate 
avowal, apostrophe, eulogy, lament, defiance, and de- 
spairing anguish" over the body of his murdered friend, 
Posa. Mansfield's ample and diversified dramatic pow- 
ers were only partially elicited up to this point, for until 
then the character is presented in moments of restraint. 
At this moment of tragic crisis, however, his youthful 
features were illumined, "the choler of the eternal cosmic 
passions" swept through his voice, and he manifested a 
dignity, depth, power, and diversity of feeling which never 
failed to stir the deepest emotions and highest enthusiasms 
of an audience. Here he exemplified the saying of the 
French philosopher: "Genius is a question of a quarter 
of an hour." But this refers to expression only. The art 
in the performance of that one scene crystallised the 
study, training, experience, and suffering of a lifetime. 

In the last moment of the play, as the hooded Inquisitors 
pushed the young Prince to his death, Mansfield's mask 
of terror and his impassioned constraint stimulated the 
imagination to a haunting sense of the agony awaiting 
him. With this tragic note suggested, but not denoted, 



Duke of Medina Sidonia . 
Don Raymond de Taxis . 
Domingo, Confessor to the Ki g 
The Grand Inquisitor 
Page to the Queen 
Elisabeth de Valois 
Duchess d'Olivarez 
Marchioness de Mondecai 
Princess Eboli . 
Countess Fuentes 

Ladies of the Court, Pages, 



Mr. Sydney Mather. 
Mr. Ernest Warde. 
Mr. Clarence Handyside. 
Mr. Walter Howe. 
Miss Margaret Kilroy. 
Miss Florence Rockwell. 
Miss Vivian Bernard. 
Miss Nora Dunblane. 
Miss Eleanor Barry. 
Miss Adelaide Nowak. 
Officers, Soldiers, etc. 



438 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1905 

by Schiller, the play ended. Mansfield had conceived a 
further poetic addition which was not even rehearsed. 
He had opened the first act in the flowery gardens of Aran- 
juez with a game of racquets among a number of the 
Queen's pages, who are driven away by the approach of 
Elizabeth and her suite. It was a spirited picture of 
youth, beauty, and gayety. Mansfield's intention for the 
end of the play, defeated by the great length of the per- 
formance without further embellishments, was that, after 
the procession of Inquisitors had disappeared with the 
doomed Prince, into the shadows of the night, the music 
of the dead march should gradually lighten as night dis- 
appears before dawn, the birds should break into song, 
the sun beam its golden radiance over the scene, and the 
laughing pages rush out of the palace and resume their 
romp the tragedy of life eclipsed by the eternal youth of 
the world. 

He had many dreams of this sort which he did not 
materialise. But how he felt when he did embroider a 
play, he tells in his own words: 1 'I am wondering all the 
while whether any one else feels all this perceives it and 
likes it or only imagines the suggestion is there when it 
is not. I know very well that I often wonder why people 
do not comprehend what I wish to convey to them without 
long explanations, and perhaps it's the same with my 
stage pictures. I generally understand what people are 
going to say when they commence speaking, and in most 
cases I find listening exceedingly tedious; but I always 
do listen, if I can afford the time, because I have learned 
how much pleasure they derive from talking." 

For this winter an ambitious course of lectures on the 
drama had been arranged by the University of Chicago, 

1 Harper's Weekly. 



19053 "TALKING PS. ACTING" 439 

and Mansfield was invited to open the series during 
his visit. On November 2, he addressed a vast audience 
in Orchestra Hall, on "The Art of Talking versus the Art 
of Acting." This address he made the foundation of his 
talk before the faculty and students of the University of 
California a fortnight later. On the invitation of Provost 
Harrison he addressed the faculty and student body of 
the University of Pennsylvania on "Man and the Actor," 
while playing in Philadelphia the January following. 
Certain points in these addresses were digested in the 
article, "Man and the Actor," which appeared in the 
Atlantic Monthly, May, 1906. In these talks he gave 
expressions to characteristic views on his art, and to some 
comments on life which are literally autobiographic, or 
may easily be construed as such. He rarely spoke to or 
wrote for the public that he did not refer to his life-long 
desire to see in America a theatre independent of financial 
considerations: 

At this moment, it cannot be denied that the stage is 
drifting somewhat hither and thither. Every breath of 
air and every current of public opinion impels it first in 
one direction and then in another. At one moment we 
may be in the doldrums of the English society drama or 
we are sluggishly rolling along in a heavy ground swell 
propelled by a passing cat's paw of revivals of old melo- 
dramas. Again we catch a very faint northerly breeze 
from Ibsen or a southeaster from Maeterlinck and Haupt- 
mann. Sometimes we set our sails to woo that ever-clear- 
ing breeze of Shakespeare only to be forced out of our 
course by a sputter of rain, an Irish mist, and a half squall 
from George Bernard Shaw, but the greater part of the 
time the ship of the stage is careering wildly under bare 
poles with a man lashed to the helm (and let us hope that, 
like Ulysses, he has cotton wool in his ears) before a 
hurricane of comic opera! 



440 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1905 

But while the Press, which is the voice of the public, 
is finding fault with the condition of the stage, it is per- 
haps forgotten that the public itself is largely responsible 
for this condition. There has, ever since I have had the 
honour and privilege of appearing before American audi- 
ences, been this same outcry against the American stage, 
and there has always been sufficient interest at work to 
make this outcry, but never sufficient interest to do any- 
thing about it, and here is a case of talk versus acting. 
Yet here are some ninety millions of people possessed of 
the greatest wealth of any nation in the world. It is just 
as easy to have a national theatre in this country as it is 
in France or Germany. It is now some seven years since 
I attended a very delightful function in this very city 
[Chicago], and being called upon to make some remarks 
and being totally unprepared, it occurred to me to suggest 
the establishment of a national theatre. This suggestion 
was widely discussed at that time by the Press and imme- 
diately after forgotten. Since then various eminent per- 
sons have stolen my thunder; but neither my thunder nor 
their echo of it has cleared the air, and to-day the stage of 
this country as indeed of England is in the same un- 
satisfactory condition. And so we talk and don't act. 

We need a recognised stage and a recognised school. 
America has become too great and its influence abroad 
too large for us to afford to have recourse to that ancient 
and easy method of criticism which decries the American 
and extols the foreign. That is one of those last rem- 
nants of colonialism and provincialism which must de- 
part forever. 

Reviewing the benefits accruing from an endowed 
theatre, especially in the training of actors, he declared 
himself on discipline, which had caused him so much 
criticism: 

The training of the Actor! To-day there is practically 
none. Actors and actresses are not to be taught by pat- 



THE EASY ROAD 441 

ting them on the shoulders and saying "Fine! Splendid!" 
It is a hard, hard school, on the contrary, of unmerciful 
criticism. And he is a poor master who seeks cheap 
popularity among his associates by glossing over and 
praising what he knows to be condemnable. No good 
result is to be obtained by this method, but it is this 
method that has caused a great many actors to be be- 
loved, and the public to be very much distressed. The 
great past masters in any art are, and ever have been, 
severe critics, not only of others but of themselves, and 
they spare neither themselves nor others in the betterment 
of their art. Of course the easiest way to lead an easy 
life is not to find fault, and an idiot or an oaf is content 
with things as he finds them. At that rate we should 
still be in the dark ages. It is he who changes and im- 
proves, corrects and creates, who benefits mankind! And 
my ideal theatre should have the most severe and inde- 
fatigable of stage managers. 

He felt the inequality of conditions under which Gar- 
rick and Siddons, the Keans and Kembles had builded 
their careers and those which confronted him the dis- 
position to judge achievements under new conditions by 
old standards: 

Garrick was surrounded by a coterie of delightful spirits, 
among whom were Samuel Johnson and Goldsmith and 
Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and a dozen others known to 
you all. The Prince Regent was there every night with a 
galaxy of art and beauty, and he was glad to give Mr. 
Garrick his arm or to be tooled down to Twickenham or 
Richmond on the box seat of Mr. Garrick's coach. To- 
day the actor may be said to weep his heart out in solitude. 
Where and from whom can he draw inspiration ? In the 
days of Garrick those men who wrote plays came with 
bended knee and bated breath and whispering humble- 
ness to beg Mr. Garrick to accept their work. To-day! 
We look around a vast plain of emptiness, and if upon the 



44 2 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1905 

horizon we descry the nebulous figure of a nascient dra- 
matic author pressing to his puling lips a sucking bottleof 
dramatic buttermilk, we crawl to his feet and implore him 
to bestow upon us, regardless of cost, one drop ot the 
precious fluid. Can the actor to-day, remaining in one 
city, produce with any hopes of success one play after the 
other ? . . . Let me tell you that the standard to-day is 
so much higher, the demand of the public so much greater 
than in the days of Garrick or Edmund Kean, that a hasty 
or superficial representation of any one of these men's 
masterpieces would not be endured. Sir Henry Irving 
has, alas, just passed away, and the wreath of everlasting 
fame has been placed upon his tomb in Westminster 
Abbey by a grateful king and queen and people; but he 
was not able to produce more than one, or at the outside 
two, plays in his theatre each season, and even that effort 
bankrupted him and he died, to all intents and purposes, 
penniless ! The costly productions inaugurated by Charles 
Kean, Kemble, and Macready, and faithfully improved 
upon by Irving and Calvert and others, have spoiled the 
public for anything but the costliest mise en scene, and it 
is not enough for the actor to study his role, but he must 
be prepared to devise and superintend the construction of 
a mass of scenery and costumes, of effects of lighting, of 
the movements of a mob of figurants, and he must have 
the practical and financial mind to meet the dreadful 
question of expense! . . . The real work of the stage- 
of the actor, does not lie there. It is easy for us to busy 
ourselves, to pass pleasantly our time designing lovely 
scenes, charming costumes, and all the paraphernalia and 
pomp of mimic grandeur, whether of landscape or ot 
architecture, the panoply of war, or the luxury of royal 
courts. That is fun, pleasure, and amusement. That, 
again, comes under the head of "Talking versus acting" 
No, the real work of the stage lies in the creation of a 
character. A great character will live forever, when 
paint and canvas and silks and satins and gold foil and 
tinsel shall have gone the way of all rags. 

But the long, lone hours with our heads in our hands, 



i9o 5 ] "ACTING ACTING' 3 443 

the toil, the patient study, the rough carving of the out- 
lines, the dainty, delicate, finishing touches, the growing 
into the soul of the being we delineate, the picture of his 
outward semblance, his voice, his gait, his speech, all 
amount to a labour of such stress and strain, of such 
loving anxiety and care, that they can be compared only 
in my mind to a mother's pains. And when the child is 
born it must grow in a few hours to completion and be 
exhibited and coldly criticised. How often, how often 
have those long months of infinite toil been in vain! How 
often has the actor led the child of his imagination to the 
footlights only to realise that he has brought into the 
world a weakling or a deformity which may not live. And 
how often he has sat through the long nights brooding 
over the corpse of this dear figment of his fancy! It has 
become lately customary with many actor managers to 
avoid these pangs of childbirth. They have determinedly 
declined the responsibility they owe to the poet and the 
public, and instead dazzled the eye with a succession of 
such splendid pictures that the beholder forgot in the 
surfeit of the eye that feast that should have fed the soul. 
It is what I am pleased to term "talk versus acting." 

He had no belief that acting could be taught. 'You 
can teach people how to 'act acting,'" he said, "but you 
can't teach them 'to act.' Acting is as much an inspira- 
tion as the making of great poetry and great pictures. 
What is commonly called acting, is acting acting. This is 
what is generally accepted as acting. A man speaks lines, 
moves his arms, wags his head, and does various other 
things he may even shout and rant; some pull down 
their cuffs and inspect their finger nails; they work hard 
and perspire, and their skin acts. This is all easily com- 
prehended by the masses and passes for acting, and is 
applauded; but the man who is actually the embodiment 
of the character he is creating will often be misunderstood, 



444 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1905 

be disliked, and fail to attract. Mediocrity rouses no 
opposition, but strong individualities and forcible opinions 
make enemies. It is here that danger lies. Many an 
actor has set out with an ideal, but, failing to gain general 
favour, has abandoned it for the easier method of winning 
popular acclaim. . . ." 

In telling how inspiration reflects itself in acting he 
exposed his own method on the stage: "Inspiration only 
comes to those who permit themselves to be inspired. It 
is a form of hypnotism. Allow yourself to be convinced 
by the character you are portraying that you are the char- 
acter. If you are to play Napoleon, and you are sincere 
and determined to be Napoleon, Napoleon will not per- 
mit you to be any one but Napoleon; or Richard III, 
Richard III; or Nero, Nero, etc. He would be a poor, 
miserable pretence of an actor who, in the representation 
of any historical personage were otherwise than firmly 
convinced, after getting into a man's skin (which means 
the exhaustive study of all that was ever known about him), 
that he is living that very man for a few brief hours. And 
so it is, in another form, with the creation or realisation 
of the author's the poet's fancy. In this latter case the 
actor, the poet-actor, sees and creates in the air before him 
the being he delineates; he makes him, he builds him 
during the day, in the long hours of the night he gradually 
takes being; he is the actor's genius, his slave of the ring, 
who comes when he calls him; he stands beside him, he 
envelops him in his ghostly arms; the actor's personality 
disappears; he is the character. You, you, and you and 
all of you have the right to object to the actor's creation. 
You may say this is not your conception of Hamlet or 
Macbeth or lago or Richard or Nero or Shylock but 
respect his, and who can tell whether he is right or you 



DISSATISFACTION OF THE ARTIST 445 

are right; he has created them with much loving care; 
therefore don't sneer at them don't jeer at them it 
hurts! If you have reared a rosebush in your garden 
and have seen it bud and bloom, are you pleased to have 
some ruthless vandal tear the flowers from their stem and 
trample them in the mud ? And it is not always our most 
beautiful children we love the best. The parent's heart 
will surely warm toward its feeblest child." 

The poet, the sculptor and the painter, he declared, 
might withhold his work till he saw that :t expressed the 
fullest and truest measure of his art. But in acting "the 
execution must be immediate and spontaneous. The 
word is delivered, the action is done, and the picture is 
painted! Can I pause and say: 'Ladies and gentlemen, 
that is not the way I wanted to do this or to say that. If 
you will allow me to try again, I think I can improve it' ? 
The most severe critic can never tell me more or scold me 
more than I scold myself. I have never left the stage 
satisfied with myself. And I am convinced that every 
artist feels as I do. . . . 

' The race for wealth is so strenuous and all-entrancing, 
that imagination is dying out, and imagination is necessary 
to make a poet or an actor! The art of acting is the crys- 
tallisation of all arts. It is a diamond in the facets of 
which is mirrored every art. It is therefore the most 
difficult of all arts. The education of a king is barely 
sufficient for the education of a comprehending and com- 
prehensive actor. If he is to satisfy every one, he should 
possess the commanding power of a Caesar, the wisdom of 
Solomon, the eloquence of Demosthenes, the patience of 
Job, the face and form of Antinous, and the strength and 
endurance of Hercules." 

Turning, in another vein, from the contemplation of 



446 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1905 

acting on the stage to the contemplation of acting off the 
stage, he said: "Mr. Ibsen, in one of his letters, wrote, 
'Garb yourself in dignity.' Here we are again. 'Garb 
yourself in dignity.' Assume dignity. Act the part of 
dignity. I think Mr. Ibsen is wrong. I would rather he 
had said: 'Be a child; remain a child!' But, no, we are 
to appear dignified. We must impress our fellow-men. 
But we are not likely to impress the Divine Being by our 
assumption of dignity, and therefore it is to all intents and 
purposes futile. I think I'd rather play the part of a 
little child! what I am in my soul and in spirit and what 
I shall have to be hereafter in the face of that Terrific 
Power before which we are all very small children. I 
think perhaps the professional actor enjoys this advan- 
tage that, when he has acted fifty parts or more, and acted 
and acted and acted out all that is in him and given it 
every form of expression, the desire to act in his private 
life is not strong in him, and he is happy to be permitted 
to be himself and to indulge in being himself without the 
mask and the buskin and the toga. But so fond are the 
people of this world of seeing a man act that I have noted, 
and it would be impossible not to note, the grave disap- 
pointment if any personage behaves as an ordinary every- 
day child at any public function, where he is not called 
upon for the exercise of his profession. This fact is well 
known probably to all men in public life, and that is why 
they dare not indulge in the unveilment of themselves. I 
have no doubt that if / had appeared before you to-day 
with a thick, black curl over my brow and the rest of my 
hair floating over my collar, with a long, pale face and 
brooding eyes, with an absent-minded air as if I were com- 
muning with the spirits of all the departed poets, I should 
have made a much greater impression upon you than I 



AN AUDIENCE OF CHILDREN 447 

do in these clothes which convention compels me to wear, 
and with the expression on my face of a child that is badly 
scared. Which I am. Dignity! If I had my way I 
would ask you to come with me into the country into 
some green field, and be allowed to sit on a fence and 
dangle my legs while I whittled a stick or pared an apple, 
and discussed these matters with you. And as you would, 
as you probably now are, be soon very tired of this some- 
body might pipe a tune and we could dance and sing and 
be children. Instead of which I shall walk home with 
terrific dignity and grow old in my bones and stiff in my 
joints, and condemn myself to an early grave by dint of 
acting not only on the stage but off." 

From Chicago, in this autumn of 1905, Mansfield went 
almost direct to San Francisco, and his engagement there 
was accomplished under circumstances that gave him a 
triumph in proportion to his anxiety. En route westward 
he played the first four evenings of the last week in Den- 
ver, and on Friday afternoon he acted Shylock. The 
audience expressed an unusual compliment. On that 
afternoon the high schools and some of the upper grades 
of the grammar schools were dismissed so that the pu- 
pils might see Mansfield's performance. The Broadway 
Theatre was packed up and down with merry, eager, and 
demonstrative school-boys and girls. Mansfield was 
touched and played with all his heart and soul. He had 
rarely spoken before the curtain during the ten years 
passed, but after the trial scene, he removed the make-up 
of Shylock, appeared in propria persona, and addressed 
the pupils in feeling terms. When he left the theatre he 
found nearly the whole audience in the street about the 
stage door, and they cheered him as he was driven to his 
car. 



44 8 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1905 

The special train departed at seven o'clock and was 
scheduled to arrive in San Francisco Sunday evening at 
the same hour. He left Denver in high spirits, and nearly 
every meal en route was the occasion of a party in his car, 
to which members of the company were invited. 

From the time his return to San Francisco was an- 
nounced, inquiries and bookings poured in so fast that it 
became apparent that a theatre twice the size of the 
Columbia would be none too large. The Grand Opera 
House stood on a street next east from Market, around 
the corner from the Call Building this was the November 
before the earthquake and fire. It was one of the noblest 
theatres in America and held about 4,000 people. Mans- 
field was independent of any party lines in theatrical 
interest, so that, although the Grand Opera House was 
not associated as the Columbia Theatre was, with a 
syndicate, his engagement was transferred to this larger 

house. 

His special train was five hours late, and it was nearly 
one o'clock Monday morning when the ferry carried him 
across the Bay. He found himself preceded by one ot 
those unfounded slanders which were not new to his 
experience. The newspapers on Sunday blazed with the 
report telegraphed from Denver that he had discharged 
all his principal artists and left half the company in the 
Colorado capital. Denials are never of avail once the seed 
is sown. His answer to canards was silence. 

When he reached his apartments his secretary brought 
his telegrams and letters. His first interest was that 
never-failing message of love and assurance which came 
to him on electric wings from his wife and boy; and his 
answer. Then he cut the envelopes, one after another, - 
notes of welcome from old friends, invitations, requests 



1905] A PROPHETIC LETTER 449 

for autographs and photographs and charity, and the 
other miscellanies of his varied mail. He stood by the 
table talking the while. Presently a letter caught his 
attention. He read it through carefully, and the colour 
appeared to leave his face as he tossed it on the table, and 
turned to a window at the other end of the room. ' There, 
read that," he said, and stepped between the parted cur- 
tains and affected to be watching the night. 

The letter was from the chief of the consulting special- 
ists he had summoned in Chicago for an expert opinion 
on the illness which distressed him. It was the conscien- 
tious report of a surgeon who uses his pen like a scalpel, 
cruelly, to be kind. The letter can be repeated only from 
memory, but its contents were practically this: 'The 
years you have suffered from indigestion have weakened 
your constitution to a critical point. You have worked 
immoderately all your life on your nerves until these, too, 
from sickness are rebellious. Unless you give up your 
work and rest absolutely, we cannot promise that your con- 
dition will not immediately become acute, and perhaps 
with results that will be fatal." 

If the canard from Denver had any effect on the people 
of San Francisco, they graciously concealed it. The 
audience on Monday night packed every corner of the 
huge opera house and cheered him at every opportunity. 
On his part he concealed the chagrin he felt at the heedless 
printing of such reports as well as he did the effect of the 
doctor's message with its alternative of sacrificing his 
career or himself. Not so two of the writers on dramatic 
subjects. Hushed in their pursuit of the lie about the 
discharged players by the appearance of every member 
of the original cast as in Chicago, the feeling of bitter- 
ness aroused by the story in the first instance or of dis- 



450 RICHARD MANSFIELD [ I90S 

appointment that another of the sensational stories about 
Mansfield had disproved itself without rousing him to a 
reply, evidently caused them to attack his acting, his 
company (for discharging which they had before attacked 
him!), his choice of play, his production everything. On 
Tuesday night Mansfield acted Shylock, on Wednesday 
Brummell, on Thursday King Richard they flayed them 
all. 

On Tuesday afternoon, by previous invitation from 
President Wheeler and the Faculty, Mansfield crossed the 
bay to Berkeley, and addressed the students of the Uni- 
versity of California. The demonstration was extraordi- 
nary, and perhaps it was significant. As the attacks con- 
tinued, however, the reaction began to manifest itself. 
Letters came by the hundred, and people called personally 
to repudiate the attacks, assuring him that the citizens of 
San Francisco felt humiliated that a great artist should 
honour them with such expressions of his genius and 
suffer the libels which had been put upon him. On 
Thursday a committee from the Bohemian Club called 
and invited him to be a guest of the club at a banquet 
the following Monday night, that they might give expres- 
sion to their appreciation of him. The same day the 
Faculty of the University of California sent representatives 
to say that the humiliation was not his but theirs, and if 
he would be their guest at a supper they would not ask him 
again to cross to Berkeley, but would come in a body to 
San Francisco. There were other invitations for public 
entertainments in his honour, but he accepted only these 
two: the Bohemian Club for the following Monday night, 
and the Facutly of the University of California for his last 
night in San Francisco, Saturday, December 2. 

By Thursday night of the first week the public seemed 




RICHARD MAXSFIKLD 

OIH- (if his luksl pit lures 



A WINNING FIGHT 451 

thoroughly aroused, and the thousands who crowded the 
Grand Opera House interrupted the play on his first en- 
trance and rose and cheered him with a heartiness which 
moved him so that he could not begin for some minutes. 
These demonstrations continued through the evening and 
were repeated every night during his engagement. It is 
rare that a succession of such vast audiences and a con- 
tinuation of such enthusiasm greet an artist. 

On the second Monday he played "The Misanthrope" 
for the first time in San Francisco. He offered it only 
once, and it had been counted on as the weak night of the 
season, but he gave it as a gratuitous offering to the few 
who might care to see a Moliere comedy. Again the 
theatre was filled. Next day the two recalcitrant writers 
capitulated. There was unqualified and unanimous 
praise for Alceste, which was declared to be the most re- 
markable characterisation he had given. The day was 
won. There was only eulogy in the papers from then 
until he left the city, after playing to larger receipts than 
he ever played to, before or after, in his entire career. 
After the management of the theatre received its per- 
centage and after all salaries and current expenses were 
paid, Mansfield's individual remuneration averaged $2,000 
for each of his fourteen appearances in San Francisco. 

It had, nevertheless, been a most anxious and fatiguing 
fortnight for all concerned. The first week Mansfield 
gave three revivals for the first time that season. On the 
second Monday he played 'The Misanthrope" for the 
first time in eight months. Recovery was difficult to him 
in a role which, like conversational Alceste, depends on 
words and words and words. He wrote me next day: 
'The Misanthrope' was an immense success! Unex- 
pectedly so but I had to lie on my back all day with a 



452 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1905 

book in my hand to accomplish it!" The artists had 
rehearsed faithfully, and every one about the theatre had 
contributed without a murmur his fullest energy. Mans- 
field's thanks were not given cheaply, probably because 
he felt that others should, as he did, get their greatest 
satisfaction in work well done from their own conscious- 
ness. But it was not that appreciation was lacking. 
Often he permitted himself a demonstration. This was 
especially true of holidays which carried all their senti- 
ment to him. Thursday of the second week in San Fran- 
cisco was Thanksgiving. After the play the stage was 
transformed into a banquet room and his guests were 
every one connected with the theatre or his company. 
He thanked them all by name for their contribution to 
the success of the engagement and "ruled the kingdom 
of the revel." 

The remainder of the tour, with the New York engage- 
ment at the close of the opera season, was one continuous 
triumph. In every city the theatre might have been filled 
twice over. The cordiality of the press was unreserved. 
Public deference to the man, apart from the actor, as one 
of the leading figures of the Republic, was shown him in 
nearly every city. 

Mansfield always made much of Christmas, but this 
year the celebration was somewhat unusual. December 
25 began the week in New Orleans, and the week preced- 
ing was spent on the special train en route east from Los 
Angeles. He did not need the long days of travel over 
the desert to remind him of his heart sickness for the wife 
and boy in the home on the Sound. 

He had sent a wonder-box from San Francisco "to be 
opened on Christmas morning." But his big family of 
travelling companions was not forgotten, for the private 



1905] CHRISTMAS ON THE TRAIN 453 

car was littered with mysterious packages. A party was 
his own affair and he allowed no one to help him. All this 
week as the train bowled along he sorted the gifts and 
wrote the inscriptions and verses. In Houston, Thomas, 
the steward, was commissioned to smuggle a tree aboard 
with all the candles and silver angels and gold strands and 
coloured balls and pop-corn strings he could find. 

The last leg of the trip was made into New Orleans on 
Christmas Eve. Early in the day an order was sent for- 
ward : " Mr. Mansfield wishes every one to vacate the car 
next his." There was, of course, much grumbling at this 
fresh evidence of eccentricity. 

As the train crossed into Louisiana another order was 
carried forward: "Mr. Mansfield wishes to meet every one 
in the car next his." He came himself for Ory Dimond, 
the little girl who acted the Duke of York in " King Rich- 
ard III" and little Pearl in "The Scarlet Letter." The 
car was darkened and at one end was Thomas lighting the 
last candle on a gala Christmas tree. When Ory and the 
others had their presents, the chef and his boy brought in 
a bowl of hot Christmas grog, and tray after tray of sand- 
wiches, pastries, and cakes; and as the engine pounded 
out its fifty miles an hour, there was a right merry party, 
till the ominous silence outside announced that the train 
was on the ferry crossing the waters of the Mississippi 
into New Orleans. 

Madame Bernhardt was touring in America this winter 
of 1905-1906. Many agreeable messages passed between 
her and Mansfield, but their paths did not cross until they 
reached Pittsburg in January. The rival engagements of 
"The Divine Sarah" and "Richard the Magnificent" 
were made much of by the press of the entire country, 
with the usual silly fictions. In Pittsburg, each dined the 



454 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1906 

other with gracious amenities, and the French actress 
attempted to persuade Mansfield that a triumph awaited 
him in Paris. She offered him the courtesy of her theatre 
with its resources if he would come. Shortly afterward 
an invitation was extended to him to play a London season 
of his long repertoire during 1907-1908. Had he accepted 
this proposition he would undoubtedly have made it a 
part of his plan to cross the Channel and appear at the 
Theatre Sarah Bernhardt. 

On one occasion, later this winter, he even indulged in 
political prophecy. While he was in Detroit the Chamber 
of Commerce entertained the Secretary of War, William 
H. Taft. Up to this time Mr. Taft had been spoken of for 
the Supreme Bench, but not for the Presidency. A place 
was held for Mansfield next the guest of honour. He was 
playing "Don Carlos" that night and was somewhat late 
in reaching the banquet room. Congressman Bede was 
speaking as he entered, but graciously discontinued while 
the assembly cheered the actor, nor would he resume 
until Mansfield had responded to the calls for a speech. 
He was nervous and hesitating, as always when caught 
off his guard, but after a moment he regained his self- 
possession and concluded with the hope that Mr. Taft 
would soon be in the White House. The sentiment was 
taken up and applauded with an energy that was signifi- 
cant. 

If the reception of "The Misanthrope" in San Fran- 
cisco was a surprise, so, too, was its reception in Boston. 
Elsewhere he did not allow himself to hope for popularity 
for either Moilere's comedy or the character of Alceste 
except from the discerning few. Boston was really in 
his heart when he prepared the little classic for the stage. 
Continually he repeated "Wait till we play 'The Misan- 



SIGNIFICANT FAREWELLS 455 

thrope' in Boston." He played it on his second night in 
the Colonial Theatre, and anticipated such a response 
from his appeal to culture and learning that he would be 
obliged to repeat it several times the second week instead 
of other offerings of less aesthetic quality. The sequel was 
anything but what he had planned. The theatre was not 
more than half full to see Moliere's play, the apathy of 
the audience was marked, and the reviews next day did 
not reflect a different attitude. It stung him first to dis- 
appointment and then to resentment. He made up his 
mind, and so announced, that he would never play in 
Boston again. How long he would have abided by this 
decision cannot, of course, be known, but he was firm in 
his refusal of offers for him to return the next year which 
were better than he had ever had, and he gave no reason 
except that he would not again play there. His per- 
sistence in this determination had the ring of finality to 
those who knew him best. It was not uncommon for him 
to declare, after some untoward incident, "Have we a 
contract to return to this city next season ? Cancel it. I 
shall never come back here again." But in most instances 
he soon relented. 

Meantime nothing had been said about the letter of the 
Chicago physician which reached him in San Francisco. 
His deductions, his emotions, his intentions were for the 
time locked up in silence. He kept stoutly at work, in no 
way sparing himself while in the theatre. But each per- 
formance wore him more and more, and cost him more 
and more of his vital resources. His innermost heart 
spoke in his farewells in California, and later in the East. 

Up to this time the future seemed to appear limitless to 
him. However, in concluding his address at the Uni- 
versity of California the day after the letter came, he 



456 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1906 

said: "Please remember that we have here no King or 
Queen or Kaiser to confer honours upon the deserving 
artist or the great author. Remember that to the writer 
and the artist your praise and appreciation is his sunlight, 
and that the only place in this land in which he may hope 
to dwell after he is dead is in your hearts." 

In another address before leaving the Pacific Coast, he 
said: "I would I could lay aside my strenuous occupa- 
tion and dwell amidst your orange groves and balmy 
valleys. But, like the Wandering Jew, I am forced on- 
ward, never resting, from one place to another, with my 
pack on my back and my wander staff in my hand." 

In returning his thanks to the public for their apprecia- 
tion he sounded the note of farewell throughout this win- 
ter. "I shall act for you only a little longer," he said. 
"I hope I have earned a rest." 

The words of his physicians evidently preyed upon his 
mind, and in February he placed a definite limit on his 
public life with the announcement that after three more 
years he would retire from the stage. Few knew the 
motive for this determination, but it was founded on that 
letter, and it was his compromise between immediate 
surrender and inevitable martyrdom. 

"I have never until this moment made known my pur- 
pose to abandon my profession, at least active campaign- 
ing in it," he said. 'For many years I have expended 
all my physical and intellectual energies on my stage 
work. My endurance is gradually weakening under the 
strain. There is no prospect of anything resembling 
rest unless I drop the work entirely. This I shall do 
after completing three more tours. This will leave me 
to begin the year 1910 in my own way. 

"I have no fault to find with the public. Far from 



i 9 o6] PLANS TO RETIRE 457 

that, I have met with such encouragement as few men of 
any age could boast in this calling. Fortune has held out 
a cordial hand to me and plenty sits smiling at my board. 
Applause has followed me in flattering volume from the 
onset of my stage career. That I have been appreciative 
of it I most earnestly wish the public to know, and that I 
shall not abate my industry during the closing years of my 
stage life. I am wearied beyond measure. There comes 
a time in every busy man's life when a lull in the hot race 
seems imperative. That is my conviction, and I shall 
act upon it." 

When he had once fixed his mind on the rest which was 
to come to him his spirits rose perceptibly. His imagina- 
tion found a new toy in planning his last three years on 
the stage and the long, irresponsible vacation that was to 
come after. 



CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO 

(1906-1907) 

On memorising Chicago's affection " Peer Gynt" Life as a battle 
His last Christmas A midnight rehearsal at New Year's 
He concludes his New York engagement by acting the Baron 
Chevrial His last words on the stage. 

THE surprise occasioned by Mansfield's announcement 
in the summer of 1906 that his next production would be 
Henrik Ibsen's "Peer Gynt" showed how little he was 
understood. When it was hinted that he would make an 
excursion into Ibsen, the speculation all ran to "Ghosts," 
"The Master Builder," and " Rosmersholm." The Ibsen 
that lived for him died when "The Pillars of Society" 
was written; Ibsen the poet; Ibsen of "The Vikings of 
Helgeland," "The Pretenders," "Brand," "Peer Gynt," 
and "Emperor and Galilean." These were his delights, 
and it was only after intimate study of these especially 

'The Vikings" and 'The Pretenders," in the latter he 
found a strong appeal in both the Archbishop and Haakon 

-that he resolved on "Peer Gynt." 

Ibsen wrote "Peer Gynt" while living in Italy. It was 
published in Norway, November 14, 1867, and was first 
acted February 24, 1876, in Christiania. Occasional per- 
formances were thereafter given by endowed theatres and 
societies in Germany, and it was acted once, without 
scenery, at the Theatre de I'CEuvre, Paris, November 12, 
1896. At this time it had never been acted in English. 

458 



'PEER GYNT' 459 

Mansfield wrote James O'Donnell Bennett: 'I have 
long wanted to present ' Peer Gynt,' because it is one 
of the world's greatest dramatic poems. Like Goethe's 
'Faust,' the character and story of its hero transcend mere 
nationality. Peer Gynt is every man. As with all su- 
preme works of genius every man can read into it or out 
of it the story of his own ambitions and the secrets of his 
own heart. I have found innumerable incentives, ethical 
and artistic, to present this great play. My interest was 
especially engaged by the comprehensive character of the 
theme, which practically embraces the seven ages of man. 
Keen also was my delight in the varied role of Peer with 
its marked contrasts and shifting impulses. The play is 
also to be considered from the churchman's point of view, 
and in respect to the wonderful manner in which Peer 
Gynt, at first knowing no one but self, grows in cynicism 
with growing opulence even remarking that his Creator 
was not economical but is at last brought to his knees 
and to a knowledge and recognition of God by a pure 
woman. 

"In our arrangement of the drama there will be eleven 
scenes, and they will incorporate, among others, Peer 
Gynt's fantastical first scene with his mother; the wedding 
festival where he meets Solveig and steals the bride and 
carries her into the mountains; his meeting with the 
green-clad woman; his visit to the troll King; his combat 
with the troll imps; the declaration of his love for Solveig 
and her renunciation of the world for Peer; his mother's 
death; his adventures in foreign lands; his shipwreck; 
his cross-roads search; his home coming; his final meet- 
ing with Solveig and his discovery that the empire that he 
sought lay in her heart." 

Mansfield studied his performance of Peer Gynt on the 



A.6o RICHARD MANSFIELD [1906 

water. He found freedom from distraction and the 
stimulus for his imagination out at sea. Frequently, 
when he began to compose a character, he would slip out 
to his yacht in the morning and wing out into the watery 
solitude. There, all day long with his back to the deck, his 
face to the sky, alone, he would make himself over into 
the new personage. It was in this inspiring isolation that 
he resolved most of his later roles: King Henry, Beau- 
caire, Brutus, Karl Heinrich, and Don Carlos, as well as 
Peer Gynt. 

William and Charles Archer's translation of the poem 
was made the basis of his acting version. In their preface 
they modestly disclaim literary value for their translation 
for repetition on the stage. Mansfield realised this too 
late to secure a new translation. It came to him only in 
the long days of cramming his head with the intermin- 
able lines of the part. 

" I know no test of the style of a writer like committing 
his words," he said. "If my mind takes them readily, 
then I am sure they are well chosen and there is fluency 
and power. If, on the contrary, it rejects them, it is be- 
cause the right words are not in the right place. Memor- 
ising is exceedingly difficult to me. My imagination and 
judgment are always in the way. Indeed, I believe only 
a mediocre intellect has a quick study, for a keen intelli- 
gence and an alert imagination will not accept words for 
their face value but will go behind them, play with them, 
invent readings and 'business' and in a thousand vivacious 
ways refuse to be subdued to the slavery of memorising. 
I ne-ver find this difficulty with lines which are unalloyedly 
fine; Shakespeare for instance. He finished what he 
wrote. No mind since could improve on him." 

When at last he had made a conquest of his new role of 



1906] CHICAGO'S LOYALTY 461 

Peer Gynt, the shifting panorama was all painted, Grieg's 
music was lovingly adjusted to the movement of the 
drama, the artists had yielded their best endeavour to his 
months of rehearsal, the dancers had accomplished the 
hilarity of the wedding romp, the grotesque careering in 
the troll cavern and the sinuous mazes of Anitra's seduc- 
tive scene when the intricacies of the scene of the wild 
boar, the mountain visions, the prismatic northern lights, 
and the sea-storm and wreck on that wild night of home- 
coming had all been accomplished he put off with his 
little army of artists and artisans for the great experiment, 
and Chicago was the destination. 

This city worshipped Mansfield with a constancy which 
touched him profoundly. The whole continent, from 
ocean to ocean, he brought to his feet, but Chicago he 
took to his heart. The adulation of every other city gave 
him grateful pride, but here the early recognition of his 
genius and the unabated loyalty humbled him. He was 
their servant. That was the man. He met antagonism 
and reservation with reservation and contempt: kindness 
melted him. Underneath all he was a sentimentalist. 

From his earliest venturesome visits and throughout that 
dark middle period of struggle and disappointment he 
had the unfailing support of Lyman Glover. This sound 
and graceful writer led the younger enthusiasts in their 
recognition of Mansfield. When he put down his pen 
Leslie, Bennett, Nixon, Eastman, Halbert and Hammond 
closed up the breach with their judicious enthusiasm. 
These writers understood that the artist works through the 
emotions as well as through the intellect, that an ounce of 
loyalty and encouragement is worth a ton of analysis; for 
art, as Mansfield said, "is like a flower and must be 
watered and sunned, and cannot be argued into bloom." 



462 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1906 

The kindness of every one affected him in such a way 
that he could not endure his car or a hotel in Chicago, 
for they gave him a transient sense he did not feel. In 
1904 he rented a house, and the next year took a lease on 
a charming suite of rooms designed by George Wein- 
hoeber in Elm Street, and they were kept throughout the 
year especially for his return. These rooms he stored 
with beautiful pictures, rare furniture, and art objects, 
and here more than in any other spot where his little family 
was not, the gathering of his friends made the cosey senti- 
ment of home. Whenever he returned he found his rooms 
packed with the flowers he loved, a hundred messages of 
welcome hidden in the blossoms. The "garb of dignity" 
fell away and he rushed with the eagerness of a boy to a 
score of homes where glad greetings awaited him. But 
he went first to those houses where children were, and 
planned the box parties of boys and girls which he 
loved to see in the proscenium corner on Saturday after- 
noons. 

Mansfield reached Chicago only two days before his first 
appearance in "Peer Gynt," which took place at the 
Grand Opera House, October 29, 1906. The preceding 
evening was devoted to a final dress rehearsal, though 
artists, ballet, and musicians had given five complete 
scenic performances in New York, without audiences, 
before going West. There were not more than thirty 
people in the orchestra stalls for the last rehearsal. Scene 
followed scene, but from half-past seven in the evening 
until one o'clock in the morning the handful of auditors 
sat without response to anything they saw. The rehearsal 
began with much spirit, but the lethargy of the thirty 
reached up to the stage and soon the spirit of boredom 
raised its heavy head on both sides of the footlights. 



1906] 



SUPERSTITIONS 



463 



There were tightening of lips and wagging of heads as the 
lights went out. 

'I suppose we will have to act this to-morrow night," 
said Mansfield, out of his muffler, to Mr. Stevens as he 
crossed the dark stage to his carriage, "but Tuesday we 
must rehearse the repertoire. This will be my worst 
failure." Encouragement was offered, but his frame of 
mind was not significant of the probability of success. 
Overconfidence was not one of his weaknesses. He was a 
pessimist about his undertakings, but he did not back his 
pessimism to the extent of backing down. Had the re- 
hearsal gone well, he would have still said fearfully: 'Yes, 
but wait till to-morrow night." Moreover, there is a 
superstition in the theatre that dress rehearsals and first 
nights go by contraries, and Mansfield was superstitious. 
So after a long Monday spent in the theatre correcting 
light effects and the movements of the crowds, his return 
to his dressing-room at six o'clock found the spirit of 
doubt invigorating every nerve. 1 



1 The cast of this first performance of "Peer 
afterward altered in any material instance: 
Peer Gynt 
Ase, his mother 
Aslak, the blacksmith 
Mads Moen, the bridegroom 
His father 
His mother 
Solveig 

Helga, her sister 
Their father . 
Their mother . 
The Hegstad farmer 
Ingrid, the bride 
First peasant lad 
Second peasant lad . 
Third peasant lad . 
Fourth peasant lad . 
The Master Cook . 
First peasant girl 
Second peasant girl . 
Third peasant girl . 
Fourth peasant girl . 



Gynt" follows, and it was not 

Mr. Richard Mansfield. 
Miss Emma Dunn. 
Mr. Damon Lyon. 
Mr. Cecil Magnus. 
Mr. Edwin Caldwell. 
Miss Sydney Cowell. 
Miss Adelaide Nowak. 
Miss Ory Diamond. 
Mr. James L. Carhart. 
Miss Myra Brooke. 
Mr. Walter Howe. 
Miss Adelaide Alexander. 
Mr. Gordon Mendelssohn. 
Mr. Lawrence C. Toole. 
Mr. Louis Thomas. 
Mr. Allan Fawcett. 
Mr. Frank Reynolds. 
Miss Evelyn Loomis. 
Miss Marguerite Lindsay. 
Miss Isabel Howell. 
Miss Ruby Craven. 



464 



RICHARD MANSFIELD 



[1906 



The curtain rose to the strains of Grieg's "Morning," 
and almost immediately Peer and his mother came down 
the mountain side. There was a roar of welcome lasting 
minutes. He loved these welcomes, but he dreaded them; 
"I should rather conquer an audience of enemies," he 
said, speaking of the applause which greeted his entrances, 
"than please an audience of friends. The welcome is 
sweet, but it leaves no margin for surprise. It is kind to 
be told: 'Through years of acquaintance you have not 
disappointed. Nothing you can do will astonish us!' 
But, as I stand there bowing, my heart stops beating. 
Will I disappoint to-night? Will this be my failure?' 
It was thus he began " Peer Gynt," warmed with grati- 
tude, chilled with fear. 

When the house settled into attentive silence the scene 
began. On one side sat a theatre party of one hundred 



Fifth peasant girl 
First elderly peasant 
Second elderly peasant 
An elderly woman . 
Another elderly woman 
The Green-clad Woman 
The Dovre King 
First Troll Imp 
Second Troll Imp . 
Third Troll Imp 
The Ugly Brat 
Kari, the cotter's wife 
Mr. Cotton 
Monsieur Ballon 
Herr von Eberkopf . 
Herr Trumpeterstrale 
Anitra 

Captain of the Ship . 
The Lookout . 
The Mate 
The Boatswain 
The Ship's Cook 
The Cabin Boy 
The Strange Passenger ) 
The Button Moulder ) 
The Lean Person 



Miss Olive Temple. 

Mr. J. S. Hafey. 

Mr. David T. Arrel. 

Miss Alice Warren. 

Miss Lettie Ford. 

Miss Gertrude Gheen. 

Mr. Henry Wenman. 

Mr. Thomas. 

Mr. J. B. Prescott. 

Mr. Arthur Rowe. 

Mr. George MacDonald. 

Miss Cowell. 

Mr. Frank Kingdon. 

Mr. Marc McDermott. 

Mr. Mendelssohn. 

Mr. Magnus. 

Miss Irene Prahar. 

Mr. Caldwell. 

Mr. Thomas. 

Mr. Toole. 

Mr. Reynolds. 

Mr. McDermott. 

Mr. MacDonald. 

Mr. Arthur Forrest. 
Mr. Kingdon. 



Wedding Guests, Peasants, Lads, Girls, Troll Courtiers and 
Troll Maidens, Dancing Girls, the Ship's Crew and 

others. 




H 
> 

r K 

W 



K Q 
t J 

< W 
i i 
Pn 

C/J 



ANOTHER TRIUMPH 465 

and twenty Norwegians. It is said that there are more 
Norwegians in Chicago than in any other city in the 
world, except Christiania. They have their own schools, 
churches, banks, newspapers, magazines, society. This 
party, led by Consul Gade, represented the culture of the 
local Norse group. It was expected that their applause 
or their silence would be significant. Curiously and 
happily it was not. Peer's repetition of the reindeer lie 
two minutes after the curtain rose brought mild but 
spontaneous recognition from the entire house. From 
that moment the human character of the fable fused the 
cosmopolitan audience in a common interest. It was 
gratifying to please the Norwegians; it was better to 
please every one. 

The evening wore along through repeated bursts of 
applause to a triumphant issue. Not every point in the 
fantastic poem went for its full worth, but in a work of 
such overladen richness much less than everything was 
sufficient. Mansfield and Ibsen had held the audience 
beyond all expectations. 

The entire first part, closing with Peer's fantasy of the 
drive to the gates of heaven while his mother died at his 
elbow, was enjoyed with scarcely any reserve. Mans- 
field's assumption of youth gave little surprise after Karl 
Heinrich and Don Carlos. But his interpretative art 
was the marvel of every one who had groped through the 
poem. Reading a poem without imagination is like look- 
ing at a stained-glass window from the outside. It needs 
to be seen with the sun behind it. How wonderfully Ibsen 
had constructed and coloured his poetic window Mans- 
field's art made luminous. 

The second part was more difficult to the auditor. It 
must be said that until much irrelevant and confusing 



466 RICHARD MANSFIELD [ I9 o6 

material had been eliminated the appeal was to the eye 
more than to the understanding. The scene between 
Peer and Anitra at the door of his tent in the desert, the 
argument with the cook in the waves after the ship sank, 
and the fable for critics were omitted after the first 
night, but thereafter not a line was altered. This gave 
"Peer Gynt" all possible cohesion and the effect was 
thereafter in relation to the auditor. That was as Mans- 
field had anticipated. There was a fairy story for chil- 
dren, philosophy for the contemplative, a veritable pano- 
rama for the eye, and for those who enjoyed acting for its 
own sake, Peer disclosed Mansfield in the most varied and 
comprehensive role he ever essayed. 

What he expressed was what he found in the poem, and 
that he embodied in one sentence: 'This phantasmagoria, 
or comedy of human life, embraces all the elements of the 
serious, the pathetic, the tragic, the grotesque, the real 
and the unreal, the actualities and the dreams, the facts 
and consequences, the ambitions and the disappointments, 
the hopes and the disillusions, and the dread and terror 
and the resurrection in love of the human soul." 

It was a triumph for Mansfield as actor, as an imagina- 
tive and interpretative artist. No one who saw his "Peer 
Gynt" said less. He did a generous and notable service 
in placing this poem on the stage so that the admirers and 
detractors of Ibsen might each point their varied conclu- 
sions. The appeal of the supreme artistry of all phases 
of the interpretation was obvious to every one. The ap- 
peal of the play was entirely in the measure or bias of the 
mind opened to it. 

'Peer Gynt" was played throughout his winter tour 
except for an occasional change of bill to a lighter role in 
order to rest him. It was a performance which held him 



i9o6] THE LONG FIGHT 467 

at high tension every moment and left him after three 
hours and a half in a state of almost complete collapse. 
How often that winter he rebelled and cried: "I can't do 
it. I cannot act Peer Gynt one other time. It takes 
one's life blood, this Peer Gynt. I dig a spadeful of 
earth for my grave every time I play the part." But 
when those near him urged him to stop and rest, he would 
not give up. He did not miss a performance and he 
played always with all his accustomed force and power. 

It was a hard fight to keep up, but he fought on with 
grim resistance. His whole life had been a battle. That 
was the aspect in which life presented itself to him. His 
inherent strength, pugnacity, will power, and ambition 
sought it, found it, and, when they did not find it, fancied 
it. His life was radiant with triumph, but there was a 
vast gray lining of distress. All the way along he fought 
realities and spectres. 

No one associated with him but knew those sharp stac- 
cato retorts which came with the frequency that indicated 
how much they were a part of his doctrine. "Cannot? 
If others can, we can. We can whether others can or not. 
A general never says he cannot. He compels it. The 
general who wins is the general who never knows he is 
whipped. You cannot whip him." 

And so no one can say that his preeminence was an 
accident of a capricious public or of endowed genius. He 
was never the idle steward. No steward ever took more 
seriously the obligation of his ten talents. 

He fought and fought and fought. The memory of the 
aloofness and aloneness of the contained little boy at 
school was always with him. So, too, the bitter, starving 
days in London. When he had his foot once firmly 
planted on the ladder he fancied there were envious hands 



468 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1906 

clutching at his skirts. In every one in his path he fancied 
an enemy, believing firmly in the intrigue of others. 

Not least of all he fought himself. He disciplined the 
physical every day of his life like a Spartan. His talents 
he cultivated and his obligation he acknowledged with the 
religious fidelity of a perpetual prayer. And one day 
sitting with a friend in the gray half-light of the cavern- 
ous stage at rehearsal, whence every one else had departed, 
he said with almost boyish simplicity and apology, "Do 
you know, I spend half my life keeping my temper?' 1 

The last fights were the biggest of all. The stage has 
rarely seen more consummate generalship of all the varied 
resources of a remarkably gifted artist than in the all- 
embracing, all-demanding Peer Gynt. He undertook it 
against the advice of his most trusted friends, against an 
overwhelming public sentiment based on an overwhelming 
public ignorance, and he carried it on in spite of a critical 
chorus who stormed, with only luminously rare exceptions, 
against the aloofness in which they could see only am- 
biguity and a mad poet's hallucinations and a mad actor's 
overweening ambitions and in spite of the warning of an 
overtaxed, rebellious constitution. 

The acclaim with which he was greeted after Chicago, 
in St. Paul, Minneapolis, Des Moines, Omaha, Kansas 
City and St. Louis; then for six days in Paducah, Mem- 
phis, Birmingham, Atlanta, Nashville, and Louisville 
(travelling twelve hundred and fifty miles in six days, 
playing nightly); in Cincinnati, Pittsburg, Buffalo, De- 
troit, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Washington did not 
exceed that of the past eight years only because it could 
not. It was remarkable that in a land where foreign 
prestige counts for so much, Mansfield was able to remain 



i 9 o6] A CHRISTMAS LETTER 469 

continuously in America, and to play year after year to 
crowded houses at advanced prices. This is much more 
to be wondered at than the large attendance vouchsafed 
the two or three European artists of the same rank who 
came only at four or five year intervals. 

As the holidays approached he warmed as usual with 
the Christmas spirit. The twenty-fifth of December was 
played in Memphis, and the next morning he wrote his wife : 

DEAREST: I was disappointed not to have any letter 
from you yesterday, but there was a very sweet little one 
from the boy for which hug him. I didn't open "the 
Box" until last night after the play. (Wasn't I good ?) 
And, oh, I was delighted. I jumped about like a kid. 
Everything is lovely, lovely! The beautiful scarf! And 
the beautiful pillow! I shall never dare to put my old, 
old ugly head upon it at all. I'll have a linen slip made 
for it. And those sleeve links, they are divine! Where 
did you get them ? And when I come forth with those 
buttons on my waistcoat! And well and and And 
baby's box! The dear thing. How did he do it? And 
thank Milly a thousand times for the pincushion; it's 
great! Thank you ever so much! The company gave 
me another beautiful punch-bowl in hammered copper, 
with a lid to it, and a cigar-lighter of the same material. 
I will send it to you, it's bully! I had intended giving 
them a Christmas supper on a dining-car but the car 
got mixed up in a wreck, and never arrived. So I did the 
best I could for them on my car; they went in relays, and 
I had a little X-mas tree and a tiny something for each 
one. They seemed so pleased and happy, it was a real 
joy to see them, and the girls gave me three cheers. The 
working staff decorated my room most beautifully last 
night (at the theatre) and when I arrived I found it one 
mass of holly and pine-branches and mistletoe! Mrs. 
Stevens insisted on kissing me (I tell you so that you may 
know that she did it) before the whole company, and 



470 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1907 

little Ory flung her arms about me in a paroxysm of joy 
because she got a little squirrel mufF and boa. [After 
recounting his own presents, he resumed]: So you see, I 
was not forgotten. I got a lot of telegrams from all our 
friends. The sun is shining and the country we have 
just passed through was most lovely and enticing the 
pines and the purling brooks and warm as spring. . . . 
I'm so full of your lovely presents I have to go look at 
them every five minutes. Thank you again and again. 
Kiss the boy and a thousand more hugs to you both ! 

DICK. 

While he was writing in his car, the dining-car, which 
had come all the way from Chicago, caught up with the 
train. The company's Christmas supper was served for 
breakfast, all the more welcome as the train was late, and 
Birmingham, where they had expected to eat breakfast, 
was not reached until four hours later. 

The week following was spent in Cincinnati. Tuesday 
was New Year's Day, and the plays were " Beau Brum- 
mell" in the afternoon and "A Parisian Romance" at 
night. Neither play employed more than a third of the 
actors, but in accordance with the discipline of the com- 
pany every one reported on the stage one hour before the 
rise of the curtain in case of change of bill, of need of an 
understudy, or of other emergency. The opening play 
the night before was "Peer Gynt," the performance was 
given without an error, and the house had been crowded 
with a demonstrative audience. Why then, asked the 
players as they strolled in to report on Tuesday evening, 
this extraordinary "call" which was posted on the bul- 
letin board: 

The entire company, including the working staff, will 
report at the theatre immediately after the fall of the cur- 
tain, Tuesday evening, in order fully to rehearse ensembles, 



i9o 7 ] A MIDNIGHT REHEARSAL 471 

dances, and lights. Mr. Mansfield deeply regrets calling 
the company so late, but it is absolutely impossible to hold 
a rehearsal at any other hour, this being the only time 
available. No excuses accepted unless accompanied by 
a physician's certificate. R D STEVENS> Managefm 

After the play the curtain was held down, all stage lights 
were turned off except a gas "bunch" down front, and the 
company assembled drowsily. Presently Mansfield 
emerged from his dressing-room and directed that the 
rehearsal begin. At that signal music floated in from the 
orchestra, which had been detained in their places. 
Long tables laid for supper were brought from their hiding- 
places. The lights were turned on, and the joke was out. 
Mansfield made a speech full of good wishes for the New 
Year, and after the supper there was dancing. 

The itinerary called for continuous playing until after 
the New York season during February and March, when 
there was to be a week of rest before beginning a sup- 
plementary spring tour of five weeks. While in Phila- 
delphia, in January, however, he was so exhausted that 
he yielded to persuasion and agreed to rest a week before 
appearing in New York. 'Transfer the booking to the 
first week after we close at the New Amsterdam," he said; 
' I will rest before instead of after my stay in New York." 
Mrs. Mansfield was with him, but Gibbs was with Miss 

Hunter at The Grange, and he now wrote his last letter to 
his boy in anticipation of seeing him soon in New York: 

HEAD-QUARTERS, QUAKER CITY, 

January 20, 1907. 
MY DEAR GENERAL SOLDIER BOY: 

You will have to pack up your artillery, your swords, 
your rifles and your uniforms, your tomahawks and bows 



472 RICHARD MANSFIELD [I907 

and arrows, your railroads and their equipment, and take 
the road at once to besiege New York City. After you 
have battered down the walls and taken the General of 
the enemy and his staff prisoner and paroled the garrison, 
you will leave a strong body of men at each important 
post, and then fortify yourself in your castle on the River- 
shore. You must, as you march, gather provisions every- 
where, loading them on wagons which you will hire from 
the farmers, paying for everything at the time, but in any 
case you will enforce the delivery of corn and cattle. You 
will hold your castle and the city of New York until my 
arrival with reinforcements, and America is Ours! 

YOUR GENERAL. 

He began his New York engagement at the New Am- 
sterdam Theatre, February 25, in "Peer Gynt." The 
rest had been markedly helpful. If ever there was a 
difference in one of his performances and another it must 
be said that, in his acting of "Peer Gynt" in New York, 
eighteen nights and three Saturday afternoons during 
three consecutive weeks, he surpassed himself. 

For his farewell week he passed in review several of 
the less strenuous roles of his repertoire: On Monday, 
March 18, he acted Arthur Dimmesdale in "The Scarlet 
Letter"; on Tuesday, "Beau Brummell"; on Wednesday, 
the Baron Chevrial in "A Parisian Romance"; on Thurs- 
day, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"; on Friday, "Beau 
Brummell"; on Saturday afternoon, "Peer Gynt"; and 
on Saturday night, the Baron Chevrial. 

Though he had acted the Baron a few times almost 
every season for twenty-four years, his art was so sure, and 
so spontaneous, the personality so enlivening, that he 
astonished and captured his last audience as completely 
as he had his first. The accord between auditors and 
actor was singularly strong. After the second and third 



1907] HIS LAST APPEARANCE 473 

acts he was called to the footlights again and again. 
After the banquet scene of the fourth act the applause 
retained its volume for five full minutes while he removed 
the mask of the dead Chevrial and appeared according 
to his custom in propria persona. Then the house rose to 
its feet and broke into cheers. He appeared and retired, 
time and again. The people seemed loath to let him go. 
In the midst of the hand-clapping came cries of " Speech ! " 
"Speak to us!" They were taken up and swelled into a 
roar. He only bowed, again and again, supporting him- 
self with one hand against the arch. Twelve times he 
bowed in silence, but there was no resisting the ovation, 
and the last time the curtain was drawn back he paused 
only a moment at the arch, raised his eyes and advanced 
some paces toward the centre. The audience recognised 
his intent, and for a moment the crowd and the actor faced 
each other in silence. 

His first words were made indistinct by his nervousness 
and emotion, but he recovered himself almost directly, 
and said: "I thank you heartily and sincerely for this 
unforgetable demonstration of your approval. If you 
will permit me to, I should like to break a long silence 
and finally set at rest the rumours with which thoughtless 
as well as malicious gossip has entertained the public 
from the time I became known to you. Will you not 
believe me when I tell you that these silly stories are un- 
true?" He then reviewed some of the fictions in an 
amusing vein, and concluded with deep feeling: "I am 
possibly a hard taskmaster, but all my efforts are directed 
toward a higher ideal of dramatic art. My efforts are all 
bent toward giving the public the best acting and the best 
plays it is possible to produce. I cherish this evening's 
appreciation of my art most highly. I shall not, I regret to 



474 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1907 

say, be before you much longer. I have worked hard and 
long, and I must lay down the burden for younger shoul- 
ders to carry. You have my warmest and heartiest 
thanks. Good-night and good-by." 

There was an answering volley of applause, but he was 
too completely overcome to return again. The golden 
voice had spoken to the public for the last time, and it 
was fitting that the words were not the trolling of the 
actor's memory, but came with love and appeal from the 
heart of the man. 



CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE 

(1907) 

His health breaks down The company disbands Off to England 
for recuperation Longings for home The return At home at 
"Seven Acres"- His delight and his plans Death Tributes. 

THE next day, Sunday, March 24, he bade his family 
farewell, and departed with his company shortly after 
noon for Scranton, Pennsy vania, where, on Monday 
evening, he was to begin the first of six appearances in 
six different cities en route to Baltimore. These bookings 
were made to fill the week he had originally planned for 
the rest which he was forced to take before beginning the 
New York engagement. 

The trip to Scranton might easily have been made on 
Monday, but it would have been unlike Mansfield to 
tarry. Invariably he left any city at the earliest moment 
and settled himself in the city of his next appearance. He 
did not make those flying visits from Boston, Philadelphia, 
or Washington into New York for Sunday, as other actors 
did. He did not linger at home till the last train that 
would deliver him at his destination in time for his per- 
formance. His interest centred on the scene of his next 
appearance, and he left any domestic or social allurements 
behind him to travel thither. 

By nightfall the special train had reached Scranton, 
and his private car was switched to the end of a track 

475 



476 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1907 

beyond the platforms of the Jersey Central station and 
some twenty feet below the level of the street. Arthur 
Forrest took supper with him, and they chatted through 
the evening together. 

During the night he had an acute distress of the stomach 
which resembled peritonitis. The attack was sudden and 
sharp, and its severity sent his temperature up and his 
vitality down to a point that gave immediate alarm. 
When Mr. Stevens called in the morning he found Mans- 
field prostrated and suffering. He smiled at his man- 
ager's appeal to cancel the night's performance, and said 
he would surely be himself in a few hours. Instead, the 
fever burned on. Only at half-past six did he surrender- 
but then only for that one night. "I'll be all right to- 
morrow night," he said. In vain Mr. Stevens begged him 
to cancel the season, or at least the week, and return 
home. Tuesday morning brought no change, and he 
consented to abandon the one week's bookings and go 
to New York to rest for Baltimore the following 
Monday. 

As soon as he reached the Riverside house a consulta- 
tion of physicians was held, and they issued this statement: 

Mr. Mansfield is suffering from a very severe attack of 
nervous exhaustion, and we consider it absolutely impera- 
tive that he stop all work and that he take a prolonged 
and complete rest. It is only by pursuing this course that 
Mr. Mansfield can expect an ultimate recovery. 

The company was waiting on the stage of the New 
Amsterdam Theatre, the scene three days before of one 
of his greatest triumphs. Mr. Stevens read them the 
physicians' report and, when he announced the disbanding 
of the Richard Mansfield Company, the players and 




Bedroom 




Musir Room 
MR. MANSFIELD'S HOUSE OX RIVERSIDE DRIVE, XE\V YORK 



i 9 o 7 ] HUNTING HEALTH 477 

artisans sorrowfully, many with tears, dispersed. The 
old association was broken for some it had been their 
whole professional span, for most of the leading artists it 
extended from five to ten years. Madame Simon had 
supervised the wardrobe for seventeen years. Fred 
Brown, his faithful dresser, had been with him before any 
one else could remember and he remained while there 
was a service to be performed. 

Mansfield had anticipated settling with his family in 
England for the summer. He and Mrs. Mansfield had 
amused themselves all through the winter selecting the 
ideal house and neighbourhood. Sometimes he wanted 
to be near the sea. Again the hawthorne hedges of the 
midlands or the grassy banks of the Thames country 
attracted him. The choice finally fell on "Moonhill," a 
beautiful house and park near Cuckfield in Sussex. The 
lease of this for the three summer months was taken in 
March. It was a convenient arrangement and included 
every item of domestic furnishing, the horses and car- 
riages, and all the servants on the place. Passage 
had been engaged on a steamer leaving May 4. From 
the time illness caused him to cancel his season and re- 
turn home, his thoughts fixed themselves on the refresh- 
ing ocean voyage and the delights of the summer in old 
England. 

In a fortnight he was able to sit in his window and watch 
the carriages and motor-cars on Riverside Drive and the 
busy craft on the Hudson. From day to day he had his 
ups and downs. The spring was backward and he longed 
for the sun's invigorating warmth. 

His mind and will were fixed on England, and no one 
could shake him from that purpose. He had a boyish 
confidence in the panacea of the old country. The phy- 



478 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1907 

sicians made significantly little opposition. On his poorer 
days he reclined feebly on his bed. On his best day he 
crept down to the pavement and strolled a few yards back 
and forth in front of his door. 

Strength did not return as quickly as he hoped. The 
sailing was postponed till May 12. As the day approached 
he was seized with a strange notion that he wished to be 
alone at sea. Mrs. Mansfield had been unsparing of her- 
self; for seven weeks she had scarcely interrupetd her 
ministrations even to sleep, and he insisted that she rest 
after he left, close the house leisurely, and follow with the 
boy a week later. Nothing would move him from his de- 
termination. Accordingly, with the indispensable Brown 
and a trained nurse, he sailed on the appointed day on 
the steamer Minneapolis. In mid-ocean there was a re- 
lapse, and when his brother Felix greeted him at Tilbury 
he was more feeble than he had been at any time since 
his first attack. 

After a few days in London he was taken south to 
Brighton. Here Mrs. Mansfield and Gibbs joined him 
almost immediately, and they all went at once to Moon- 
hill. He retained a stout hope. "I need a long rest, 
perhaps a year," he wrote. "I should have taken it be- 
fore. . . . Where is the sun ? Here it is bleak and cold, 
damp and gray. I suppose this is a beautiful place, but 
it stands so high, with the Sussex downs all about, that the 
wind cuts straight across from the sea and is pretty 
strong. I wish we were in Kent, which is more sheltered. 
I long for the warm, warm sunshine." 

The inactivity of invalidism fretted him sorely. He 
was rarely on his feet. Only half a dozen times during 
twelve weeks did he drive. Finding no change in his 
condition where he was, his imagination quickly reached 



i 9 o 7 ] HOME AGAIN 479 

out, and he fixed his hopes on a return to the warm 
American summer. 

This presented difficulties, as both his houses in New 
London were leased for the hot season. Across the road 
from The Grange and a few hundred yards to the north 
he owned a plot of seven acres on which stood a farmer's 
cottage. He had amused himself before his illness in 
drawing plans for the rebuilding of this house, and these 
were in the hands of his architect in New London. A 
message was cabled him to begin at once and rebuild 
"Seven Acres," furnish it, lay out the grounds, and have 
all ready for his return in August. Such lordly, sweeping 
orders were after Mansfield's own grand manner. It was 
not to reason why, it was but to do and be paid. The 
house rose almost miraculously. His friend, Miss Ger- 
trude Hall, graciously undertook the task of decorating 
and furnishing the interior. 

By the middle of July his patience had spent itself. 
Justifying himself with the thought that it would be un- 
safe to subject his weakened constitution to the sudden 
change from the chill of England and the ocean to the 
torrid vigour of an American August, he planned an 
immediate departure, via Montreal, to acclimatise him- 
self gradually in the Adirondacks. 

Accompanied by his family and attendants he arrived 
at Montreal on the steamer Virginia, July 26, and went by 
special train to a cottage on Saranac Lake. After four 
long weeks word came that Seven Acres was ready for 
him, and the last stage of the trip home was accomplished 
August 22. 

His good neighbours thoughtfully spared him the excite- 
ment of immediate greeting, but he found their welcome 
the moment he entered the house. They had filled it with 



480 RICHARD MANSFIELD [ I9 o 7 

bloom, the colour and fragrance of which hailed him on 
every side. 

The eagerness to see his new house, to be at home again, 
had buoyed him to an artificial strength. He ignored 
his weakness and walked from room to room. His de- 
light was unrestrained. 'Isn't it bully ? Isn't it bully ?' 
he repeated over and over again. When he reached the 
dining-room, with its panelled rafters and big fireplace 
built of the unfinished rocks from his own pasture down 
the hill, he threw his arms around his wife and cried: 
"What a Christmas lark we'll have here, Beattie! Eh? 
We'll spend this Christmas at home together. Eh ? You 
and the boy and me?' Then he turned and crossed a 
little hall into the wing which he had planned for his 
library. In the centre was his desk. He settled before 
it in his familiar chair and took it all in. 'It's perfectly 
bully, isn't it? It's just as I thought it would be." 

Then his eye rested on a silver cup on the desk before 
him, and he reached a trembling hand for it and read the 
inscription: 'Welcome home to Mr. Mansfield," over 
the names of the five little girls for whom he had ar- 
ranged the tennis tournaments. The cup was a copy of 
the ones he had given the victors. As he replaced it on 
the desk he said it should always stay there. Next day 
a servant in dusting had moved the cup to another 
table. He missed it, and in spite of his depleted strength 
would not be comforted until it was back in its place 
again. 

When he had visited all the rooms he insisted on seeing 
the exterior. He was wheeled in a chair around the house, 
and his eye twinkled as he caught sight of the antlers over 
the front door: 'Yes, I wanted that, that means good 
luck!" 



i 9 o 7 ] THE LAST DAYS 481 

This was Thursday. Every day he was brought into 
the den or sat among the flowers in the connecting 
sun parlour, watching the cloud shadows on the val- 
ley, receiving his friends, planning the festivities they 
should have together as soon as his strength re- 
turned. 

On Tuesday morning he did not leave his bed. His 
room occupied the entire wing over his den. It was fur- 
nished simply with heavy green curtains at the windows, 
rugs on the floor, the mahogany from his sleeping 
room in Riverside Drive, the print of the Meissonier 
salon, two landscapes of his own doing in crayon, his 
mother's portrait, several old French prints; on the 
mantel the travel-worn crimson leather case containing 
photographs of his wife and boy, and over his bed a 
crucifix. 

During the next few days he suffered less and less and 
slept more and more. Though weakness made his body 
a prisoner, his mind was restless every wakeful moment. 
He could not bear to be alone, but sent for one neighbour 
after another and chatted with an unfailing cheerfulness. 

Thursday night this was August 29 it was manifest 
that the end was near. His wife, his brother Felix who 
had accompanied him from England, Gibbs's governess, 
and Brown gathered at his bedside shortly after mid- 
night. 

His wife held both his hands in hers firmly and repeated 
in a clear, not loud, tone, over and over again : " God is 
life.*' At one time he awoke and recognised her, and 
when she repeated "God is life" he pressed her hand and 
answered "God is love." Presently he opened his eyes 
again. Again she repeated "God is life," but his only 
answer was to raise his hand with the familiar gesture he 



482 RICHARD MANSFIELD [1907 

made when his mind was fixed, and he drew her to him 
and kissed her. As he released her he lay smiling peace- 
fully, his eyes open for a moment with a look of joy and 
delight, and the smile remained as he fell asleep. "It 
was as though he knew God was love," said Mrs. Mans- 
field, "and there was not for him the life I wanted, for I 
meant here." 

He did not speak again. The vigil was long. No one 
knew how long until the rising sun broke across the foot 
of his bed and disappeared. The sudden burst of light 
caught every eye. When they turned again to him he was 
no longer there. 

That evening in a dingy little theatre in Grand Street, 
where he gathers the poor of the Yiddish quarter, the 
venerable Jacob Adler offered the simplest tribute that 
one artist could pay another. Before he began the play 
he came before the curtain, waited for the hush to spread 
over the audience, and then said in that language without 
a country: "Stand up." Every one rose. "Men, take 
off your hats." They obeyed. "And now do you know 
why it is that I ask you to stand ? It is because to-day 
the world has lost the greatest actor who speaks the Eng- 
lish language. In all the history of the stage there have 
been few greater." Then he told them of Mansfield's 
memorable achievements. "It is for this great man that 
I ask you to stand uncovered and I myself stand un- 
covered here to-night." 

When the word of their loss reached Mansfield's own 
people, a wave of sorrow swept over the heart of the na- 
tion. The eulogy of the American and English press was 
spontaneous, unreserved. One moment of such apprecia- 
tion in his lifetime would have compensated for all the 



i 9 o 7 ] REST 483 

struggles and distress and disappointments on his journey 
up to preeminence. 

Across the road from Seven Acres is a quaint old 
burying-ground, known from its founder and the patri- 
archal family of the neighbourhood as Gardner's Yard. 
He had often visited the spot and admired its simplicity. 
Here, in the seclusion of a hedged and shaded corner of 
his own choice, his friends laid him to sleep his last 
sleep. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 

'King Richard III," as arranged for production at the 
Globe Theatre, London, March 16, 1889. Mr. 
Richard Mansfield as the Duke of Gloster. Printed 
by Partridge & Cooper, Fleet Street, London, E. C. 

'King Richard III," as produced at the Globe Theatre, 
London, March 16, 1889, and at Palmer's Theatre, 
New York, December 16, 1889. Under the manage- 
ment of Mr. Richard Mansfield. With a preface by 
J. C. Waller, F.S.A., Nota by Richard Mansfield, 
and the casts of characters. 

: Beau Brummell," a play in four acts, written for Richard 
Mansfield by Clyde Fitch. John Lane Company, 
New York, 1908. 

Don Juan," a play in four acts, by Richard Mansfield. 
Printed privately on the De Vinne Press, 1891. 

Cyrano de Bergerac," a heroic comedy, from the French 
of Edmond Rostand, done into English verse by 
Howard Thayer Kingsbury, accepted and played by 
Richard Mansfield. Lamson, WolfFe & Co., New 
York, Boston, and London, 1898. 

; The Richard Mansfield Acting Version of 'King Henry 
V,* a History in Five Acts, by William Shakespeare." 
With portrait of Mr. Mansfield as King Henry V. 
McClure, Phillips & Co., New York, 1901. 

485 



486 BIBLIOGRAPHY 

'The Richard Mansfield Acting Version of ' Peer Gynt, 
by Henrik Ibsen.'' With portrait. The Reilly & 
Britton Co., Chicago, 1906. 

' Blown Away," a nonsensical narrative without rhyme 
or reason, related by Richard Mansfield. Illus- 
trated by Margaret Jones and the author. L. C. 
Page & Co., Boston, 1897. 

"One Evening," being an entertainment of songs grave 
and gay, by Richard Mansfield. Novello, Ewer & 
Co., London and New York, 1892. 

"As You Find It," a play in one act, by Richard Mans- 
field. Printed privately, 1904. Reprinted in The 
Reader, January, 1905. 

"Sketches Out of the Life of a Great Singer," by Richard 
Mansfield. The Theatre (London), November, 1878. 

"More Sketches Out of the Life of a Great Singer," by 
Richard Mansfield. The Theatre (London), Febru- 
ary, 1879. 

'The Story of a Production," by Richard Mansfield. 
Drawing of Richard Mansfield as King Richard III, by 
Frederic Remington. Harper's Weekly, May 24, 1890. 

"A Plain Talk on the Drama," by Richard Mansfield. 

North American Review, September, 1892. 

"Concerning Acting," by Richard Mansfield. North 
American Review, September, 1894. 

"My Audiences and Myself," by Richard Mansfield. 
With portrait. Collier's, October 6, 1900. 

"Man and the Actor," by Richard Mansfield. Atlantic 
Monthly, May, 1906. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 487 

"The Charge at DargaJ Gap" and "The Eagle's Song," 
two poems by Richard Mansfield. Printed at the 
Appleton Press, 1898. 

''Metropolitan Audiences," by Mrs. Richard Mansfield. 

The Cosmopolitan, April, 1904. 

"Richard Mansfield as Richard III," in Shadows of the 
Stage, by William Winter. Volume I. Macmillan 
& Co., New York and London, 1893. 

"Mansfield in Several Characters," in Shadows of the 
Stage, by William Winter. Volume II. Macmillan 
& Co., New York and London, 1893. 

"Mansfield as Shylock"; "Mansfield's Dandies"; in 
Shadows of the Stage, by William Winter. Volume 
III. Macmillan & Co., New York and London, 
1895. 

"Some Players: Personal Sketches," by Amy Leslie. 
Portrait and Autograph. Herbert S. Stone & Co., 
Chicago and New York, 1899. 

"Recollections of a Player," by J. H. Stoddard. The 
Century Co., New York, 1902. 

" Famous Actors of the Day in America," by Lewis C. 
Strang. Portrait. L. C. Page & Co., Boston, 
1900. 

"Famous American Actors of To-day," edited by C. E. L. 
Wingate and F. E. McKay. Chapter on Richard 
Mansfield by William Henry Frost. Portrait as 
Richard III. Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., New York, 
1896. 

'The Stage in America, 1897-1900," by Norman Hap- 
good. The Macmillan Co., New York, 1901. 



488 BIBLIOGRAPHY 

"Famous Actors and Actresses and Their Homes," by 
Gustave Kobbe. Illustrated. Little, Brown & Co., 
Boston, 1903. 

"Players of the Present," by John Bouve Clapp and Ed- 
win Francis Edgett. The Dunlop Society, New 
York, 1899. 

"Shakespeare in New York," by William Winter. 
Sketches of Characters in "Richard III," by Albert 
Steiner. Harper's Weekly, January n, 1890. 

" * Richard III ' at the Globe," Saturday Review (London), 
March 23, 1889. 

'The Personal Side of Richard Mansfield," by George 
Henry Paine. Saturday Evening Post, January 14, 1899. 

"Mansfield and King Henry V," by N. D. Hanna. 
Gunton's Magazine, October, 1900. 

"On the Acting of Richard Mansfield," by William Win- 
ter. Frontispiece in colours of Mansfield as Beau- 
caire, by John Cecil Clay. Frank Leslie's Popular 
Monthly, November, 1902. 

"Richard Mansfield, Actor," by N. D. Hanna. Ten 
illustrations from photographs. Munsey's Maga- 
zine, September, 1899. 

"Richard Mansfield and His Little Boy," by Gustave 
Kobbe. Ladies' Home Journal, January, 1903. 

"Richard Mansfield," by L. A. Faett. Two illustrations 
from photographs. Dixie, December, 1899. 

" Richard Mansfield," by Kenyon West. Frontispiece 
and ten illustrations from photographs. The Arena, 
January, 1906. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 489 

"Players Past and Present: Richard Mansfield," by 
William Winter. Portrait from photograph and 
drawings. The Saturday Evening Post, August II, 
1906. 

"Henry Irving's Successor," by Clay M. Greene. Mun- 

sey's Magazine, May, 1906. 

"Mansfield and Ibsen," by F. I. Vassault. Four illustra- 
tions from photographs. The Bellman, December 
15, 1906. 

"Peer Gynt," by William Morton Payne. The Dial, 
November 16, 1906. 

"Richard Mansfield," by Montrose J. Moses. Five illus- 
trations from photographs. Pearson's, November, 
1905. 

"The Greatest English Actor," by John Corbin. Five 
illustrations from photographs. Appleton's, March, 
1907. 

"Richard Mansfield," by James O'Donnell Bennett. 
Full-page portrait. Munsey's Magazine, March, 
1907. 

"Richard Mansfield and 'Peer Gynt,'" by Montrose J. 
Moses. Six illustrations from photographs. The 
Times Magazine, February, 1907. 

"Richard Mansfield," by Lyman B. Glover. Three il- 
lustrations from photographs. The World To-day, 
October, 1907. 

"What Was the Influence of Richard Mansfield on the 
American Drama?" by Franklin Fyles. The Amer- 
ican Review of Reviews, October, I97- 



490 BIBLIOGRAPHY 

"Richard Mansfield, a Review of His Work," by Arthur 
Ruhl. Portrait. Collier's, September 14, 1907. 

"Richard Mansfield." Portrait. The Literary Digest, 
September 7, 1907. 

"Richard Mansfield the Man," by Clayton Hamilton. 

North American Review, January, 1908. 

" Richard Mansfield, an Old Darbeian," by B. Tacchella. 
The Derby (England) School Magazine, April, 1908. 
Reprinted in pamphlet form by the author for pri- 
vate circulation, 1908. 



INDEX 



"ACTING, CONCERNING," 226, 486. 
Actor's Home, 368-9. 
Adams-Pappenheim Company, 83. 
Adler, Jacob, 482. 
Agassiz, Mrs. Louis, 212. 
"Agnes," 124. 

Albany, N. Y., 118, 140, 284. 
Albaugh, John W., Sr., 291. 
Albaugh's Theatre (Washington), 153. 
Alceste, 425, 430, 431, 451. See "The 

Misanthrope." 
Alexander, 22, 416-7. 
Alger, Miss Abbie, 98, 117. 
Alger, Rev. William, 98. 
"Alpine Roses," 120. 
"Always Intended," 163. 
Amorita, The, 390, 392, 460. 
Anderson, David, 184. 
Anderson, Hans Christian, quoted, 246. 
Anderson, Mary, 91, 164, 363. 
"Andrea," 124. 

Andrews, Albert G., 197, 319, 337. 
Anglin, Margaret, 316-7, 322. 
Appleton, "Ned," 344. 
Appleton, Mrs. William, 212. 
Appleton, Robert, 344. 
Archer, William and Charles, 460. 
"Arms and the Man," 259, 260, 261, 

264, 265, 270, 285, 286, 339. See 

Bluntschli. 

Arnold, Benedict, 416-7. 
Ashley, Merton, 88, 247. 
"A Special Delivery Letter," 65. 
"As You Find It," 486. 
"Audiences and Myself, My," 226, 

345-7. 486. 
"Audiences, Metropolitan," 487. 

BACH, 98. 

Bailey, Lillian (Mrs. George Hen- 

schel), 31. 
Balshir, n. 
Baltimore, 99, 140, 153, 189, 194, 210, 

412, 476. 
Bandmann, Daniel, 156, 157, 158, 159, 

1 60. 



Banks, E. G., 168. 

Bariatinsky, Prince, 3. 

Barker, Richard, 68. 

Barnby, Joseph, 7. 

Barrett, Lawrence, 91. 

Barron, Charles, 131. 

Barrymore, Maurice, 124. 

Bateman, Miss, 21. 

Batonchon, M., 29. See Greta Mans- 
field and Ida Brassey. 

"Beau Brummell," 200, 201, 202, 203, 
204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 212, 213, 
214, 219, 222, 226, 227, 231, 236, 
240, 252, 255, 265, 266, 270, 274, 
285, 310, 368, 419, 426, 450, 47. 
472, 485. 

"Beaucaire," 234, 236, 365-70, 395, 
405, 460, 488. 

Beau Farintosh, 21, 47, 48, 54, 113. 

Beck, Philip, 116. 

Bede, Congressman, 454. 

Bedford, Duke of, 184. 

Bell, Digby, 91. 

Belleville, Frederick de, 90, 106. 

"Bells, The," in, 160. 

Benedict, Sir Julius, 7. 

Bennett, James O'Donnell, 254, 422, 

423, 459, 46i, 489- 
Bennett, Johnstone, 197. 
Berger Family, The, 36. 
Bernhardt, Sarah, 37, 91, 159, 304, 

360, 361, 453, 454- 
Bettini, n. 
Betton, F. M., 46. 
Beyer, Theophilus, 15. 
Biblical Repertoire, 428-9. 
Biene, Augustus van, 68. 
Blomfield, Mr., 182. 
" Blown Away," 230, 294, 295, 296, 486. 
Bluntschli, Captain, 234, 259, 265, 

267, 339. See "Arms and the 

Man." 

Bohemian Club of San Francisco, 450. 
Bolze, John, 211. 
Booth, Edwin, 36, 37, 82, 91, in, 243, 

417. 



491 



492 



INDEX 



Booth, the Elder, 214. 
Bordogni, 5. 

Borgia, Lucretia, 83, 112. 
Boston, 27-56, 60-1, 82, 83, 113, 114, 
125, 128-134, 140, 141, 142, 143-45, 

153, 155, i88 > J 93> 2I 2i2 , 2i6 > 

29 2 > 3 8 , 39, 34i, 3 68 > 39> 4i9, 

420, 454-5- 
Boston Museum, 130-1, 132, 133, 135, 

142, 145, 153, 280. 
Bottom, 25. 

Boucicault, Dion, 94, 131, 307. 
Boughton, G. H., 184. 
"Bourgeois GentiLhomme," 25. 
Bournemouth, 169. 
Boyesen, Hjalmar, 120. 
Boylan, R. D., 437. 
"Brand," 458. 
Brassey, M'lle Ida, 358. 
Brigard, 88. 
Brignoli, 51. 
Brobst, Frank, 207. 
Brokyn, May, 117. 
Brooks, Phillips, 82. 
Brough, Lionel, 167, 168. 
Brown, Fred, 358, 477, 481. 
Browning, 98. 
Brutus, 199, 200, 236, 395, 397, 398, 

399, 406, 460. See "Julius Caesar." 
Buchanan, Robert, 184-185. 
Buck, Mrs. E. A., 239. 
Buck, Colonel E. A., 239. 
B'u'low, Hans von, 402. 
Burbage, Richard, 246. 
Burdett-Coutts, Baroness, 184. 
Burgomaster, The, 81. 
Burnett, Robert, 46. 
Burnett, Vivian, 434. 
Burr, Aaron, 416-7. 
Buskin, Sock and Club, 45, 46, 49, 

53, 54, 55, "4- 
Byron, Henry, 81. 
Byron, Lord, 200, 418. 

CESAR, 22. 

Cagliostro, 156, 416. 

California, University of, 303, 439, 

45, 455- 

Calvert, Charles, 442. 
Cameron, Beatrice. See Beatrice 

Cameron Mansfield. 
Cameron, Edgar, 419. 
"Captain Satan," 315. 
Carey, Eleanor, 90, 106. 
Carleton, Henry Guy, 122. 
Carreno, Teresa, 31, 36. 
Carte, D'Oyly, 66, 71, 72, 76, 93, 96, 

99, 314, 432. 



Carte, Mrs. D'Oyly, 74. 

Castle, Egerton, 168, 169, 175, 182, 

"Castle Sombras," 280, 281-2. 

Cazauran, A. R., 100, 103. 

Cellier, Alfred, 66. 

"Charity Begins at Home," 59. 

Chatterton, n. 

Cheney, Mrs. Arthur, 49. 

Chevrial, The Baron, 101, 102, 106, 
107, 108, 109, no, in, 112, 114, 
116, 117, 131, 132, 134, 142, 152, 
163, 166, 172, 214, 221, 234, 252, 

255, 2 7> 28 3, 33, 4i 2 , 426, 47 V 
473. See "A Parisian Romance." 
Chicago, 117, 153, 192, 194, 242, 243, 
280, 283, 286, 289, 303, 304, 311, 

331, 333, 3 6 i, 3 62 , 3 6 9, 395, 400, 

401, 422, 427, 436, 437, 439, 449, 
455, 461-2, 470. 

Chicago, University of, 61, 302, 304, 

307, 3 11 , 43 8 - 

Cholmondelay, Lord, 123. 

Christchurch, 169. 

Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, Prin- 
cess, 163. 

Christmas, 118, 140, 377-80, 452, 453, 
469-70, 480. 

Cibber, Colley, 178, 182. 

Cincinnati, 119, 153, 343, 384, 400, 
468, 470. See Fernbank. 

Clapp, John Bouve, 488. 

Clark, Miss, 186. 

Clark, Rev. Walter, 22, 166, 186 351. 

Clarke, Annie, 131, 132. 

Clarke, J. I. C., 308, 309. 

Cluppins, Mrs. Betsey, 25. 

Cockerill, John A., 239. 

Colonial Theatre (Boston), 39, 368, 
419-20. 

Compton, Dr., 142. 

Cook, Dutton, 21. 

"Cooks," 370. 

Coquebert, 79. 

Coquelin, 304, 313, 314, 360, 361, 363. 

363- 

Corbin, John, quoted, 234, 489. 
Cossa's "Nero," 221. 
Costa, Sir Michael, 7. 
Coughlan, Rose, 90. 
Courtenay, William, 323. 
Courvoisier, Eugen, 309, 405. Set 

"The First Violin." 
Craigen, Maida, 132. 
Craven, Hawes, 396. 
"Crime and Punishment," 275. 
Criticism, On, 223. 
Crummels, Mr. Vincent, 50, 51, 57. 
Curtis, George William, 135, 212. 



INDEX 



493 



Cushman, Charlotte, 37, 91. 
"Cyrano de Bergerac," 18, 234, 235, 

3". 3i2, 313, 3 J 4, 3*5, 3 l6 , 317 
318 (cast), 319, 320, 321, 322, 323, 
324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330, 
33 1 . 33 2 333. 334, 337, 33 8 > 343, 
358, 3 6 5, 3 68 > 397, 405, 4i6, 485- 

DALY, AUGUSTIN, 91, 92, 241, 316. 
Daly's Theatre, 239, 241. 
Dannreuther's quartette, 251. 
Dante, 29. 
"Dargai Gap, The Charge at," 296-7, 

487. 

Darlington, 67. 
Davenport, May, 132. 
Davey, Richard, 162. 
"David Copperfield," 98, 127. 
De Genlis, 21. 
Dene, Dorothy, 124. 
Denver, 117, 229, 447, 448, 449. 
Derby School, 21-5, 58, 77, 166, 167, 

251, 296, 402, 423, 490. 
Desmond, Countess of, 179. 
Detroit, 454. 
"Devil's Disciple, The," 282, 283, 284 

(cast), 285, 286. 
DeVinne Press, 221. 
Dickens, 98. 

Dickens's Dramatisations, 127. 
Dillon, Joseph H., 337, 377. 
Dimmesdale, Rev. Arthur. See "The 

Scarlet Letter." 
Dimond, Ory, 453. 
Dimsdale, J., 67. 
"Diplomacy," 131. 
Dithmar, A. E., 15, 161, 162, 188, 216, 

268. 

Dixon, Gerald, 23. 
Dobson, Austin, quoted, 246. 
"Doll's House, A," 193, 194 (cast). 
"Don Carlos," 200, 392, 413, 435, 436 

(cast), 437, 438, 454, 460, 465. 
"Don Juan," 216, 217 (cast), 218, 219, 

221, 222, 226, 244, 278, 279, 485. 
Dornfeld, Count von, 120-1. 
Dostoyevski, 275. 
Downs, F. F., 46. 
Drasdil, Anna, 31, 52. 
Drew, John, 91. 
Dreyshok, 87, 88. 
"Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," 143, 144, 

145 (cast), 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 

152, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159 

(cast), 160, 161, 163, 166, 167, 190, 

209, 213, 214, 221, 227, 231, 252, 

255, 257, 266, 270, 280, 369, 419, 

426, 427, 472. 



Dromez, 93. 

Drums, An Essay on the, 38. 

Dudgeon, Dick, 236, 282, 284, 285, 

426. See "The Devil's Disciple." 
Duff Opera Company, 123. 
Du Maurier, George, 272. 
"Dust," 81. 

"EAGLE'S SONG, THE," 297, 487. 
Eastman, Barrett, 461. 
Edgett, Edwin Francis, 488. 
"Editha's Burglar," 167. 
Edward, King, 179. 
Edwards, Harry, 90. 
"Egmont," 418. 
Einarsson, Professor, 417. 
Elliott, Margaret, 211, 212. 
Elliott, Maude Howe, 63, 212. 
Elton, William, 91. 
"Emperor and Galilean," 458. 
Ethel, Agnes, 124. 
Evesson, Isabelle, 91, 117. 

FAETT, L. A., 488. 

Fairleigh, Frank, 78. 

Falstaff, 25, 417. 

"Famous Actors and Actresses and 
Their Homes," 488. 

" Famous Actors of the Day in Amer- 
ica," 487. 

"Famous American Actors of To- 
day," 487- 

Farnie, H. B., 94, 121. 

Fassett, Isabel, 31. 

Faucit, Helen, 20. 

"Faust," 25, 459. 

Fawcett, Owen, 90. 

Fechter, 20. 

Ferdinand, Emperor of Austria, 82, 
85, 86, 87, 88. 

Fernbank, Ohio, 384, 400. 

Feuillet, Octave, 100. 

Field, R. N., 130, 133. 

Fifth Avenue Theatre, 153, 284, 285. 

Fischer, Miss Alice, 369-70. 

Fisher, Charles, 91. 

Fiske, Mrs. See Minnie Maddern. 

Fitch, Clyde, 201, 485. 

Florence, W. J., 139, 239. 

Forbes, Norman, 124, 265. 

Forrest, Arthur, 88, 91, 323, 338, 369, 
476. 

Forrest, Edwin, 37, 91, 233, 305. 

Fort Worth, Texas, Midnight Per- 
formance at, 329. 

Fothergill, Jessie, 308. 

Fragonard, 430. 

Freake, Lady, 184, 185. 



494 



INDEX 



" Frederick. Lemaitre," 201. 

Frederick the Great, 416. 

Frederick William, Emperor, 416. 

"French Flats," 116. 

French, T. rfenry, 190. 

Frith, William, R. A., 56, 57, 161, 184. 

Frost, William Henry, 487. 

"Frou Frou," 88. 

Fyles, Franklin, 489. 

GADE, CONSUL, 465. 
Galer, Elliot, 123. 
Gallet, Louis, 315. 

Garden Theatre, 214, 217, 226, 227, 
272, 273, 283, 308, 309, 310, 316, 

3 2 7 33 1 . 338, 339. 349>35- 
Gardner, Mrs. John L., 212. 
Gardner's Yard, 483. 
Garrick, David, in, 174, 185, 214, 

236, 268, 269, 279, 365, 366, 372, 

441, 442. 
Garrick Theatre, The (New York), 

269, 270, 272, 273, 275, 276, 278, 

279, 33- 
Garrick Theatre (Philadelphia), 289, 

365-6. 

Garvice, Charles, 81. 
"Gasparone," 123. 
German, Edward, 167, 168, 169, 182, 

185. 

German Theatre, 21. 
Germon, Erne, 91. 
"Genevieve de Brabant," 81. 
"Ghosts," 458. 

Gibbs, Mr. and Mrs. and Miss, 238-9. 
Giddens, George, 78. 
Gilbert, Alfred, 184, 265. 
Gilbert, John, 90. 
Gilbert, Mrs., 91. 
Gilbert, W. S., 21, 66, 73, 74, 7 6 . 77. 

78, 95, 127, 128, 315. 
Gillette, William, 138. 
Gilmore, "Pat.," 27, 28. 
Glidden, Helen, 197. See Harkins. 
Globe Theatre (Boston), 49, 130, 153, 

1 88. 
Globe Theatre (London), 166, 167, 

173, 174, 185, 186, 265. 
Gloster, Duke of. See King Richard 

III. 

Glover, Lyman B., 401, 408, 461, 489. 
Goddard, Arabella, 31. 
Godwin, Anna, 31. 
Goethe, 15, 16, 19, 25, 30, 418, 459. 
"Golden Ebony," 380-4- 
Goldsmith. Oliver, 441. 
Goodwin, Nat, 137, 288. 
Graham, Thomas F., 335, 337. 



Grain, Corney, 58, 59. 

Grange, The, 371-2, 375, 471, 479. 

Great Northern Theatre (Chicago), 

283. 

"Greatest English Actor, The," 489. 
Greene, Clay M., 489. 
Greenwall, Manager, 243, 32Q. 
Greig, 464. 
Greville, Miss, 5. 
Griffith, William N., 363. 
Grimaldi, 222, 416. 
"Gringoire," 123. 

Gross, Charles E., 331, 333, 334, 337. 
Grossmith, Weedon, 167. 
Grundy, Sydney, 81. 
Guarantees, 232. 
Gunter, Archibald Clavering, 129. 

HALBERT, DELANCY, 461. 

Hall, 178. 

Hall, Gertrude, 313, 479. 

Hall, Mrs., 63. 

Hamilton, Clayton, 490. 

"Hamlet," 149, 397, 417, 444. 

Hammond, Percy, 461. 

Hanna, N. D., 488. 

Hans Sachs, 189, 397. 

Hapgood, Norman, 487. 

Hardenberg, Mr., 51. 

Hare, John, 21. 

Harkins, Mr. and Mrs., 197, 229, 363- 

4, 369. See Glidden. 
Harrigan's Theatre, 268. 
Harrington, Lady, 185. 
Harris, Augustus, 175-6. 
Harrison, Benjamin, 211, 212, 242, 

318. 

Harrison, Maud, 90. 
Harrison, Provost, 303, 439. 
Hatton, Joseph, 163, 200, 239, 240. 
Hauptmann, 439. 
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 239, 240. 
Hayes, Catherine, 6. 
Heine, 211. 
Henderson, Mr., 78. 
Henschel, Mrs. George. See Bailey. 
Herald Square Theatre, 261, 262, 289, 

400. 

Herbert, Joseph, 272. 
Herman's Theatre, 250. 
Herne, James A., 288. 
"Herod," 418. 
Heron, Bijou, 91. 
"Her Royal Highness," 256. 
Higginson, Colonel, 130. 
Hill, Aaron, quoted, 196. 
Hiller, Ferdinand, 7, n. 
Hilton, Hilda, 88. 



INDEX 



495 



Holland, E. M. and Joseph, 272, 273. 

Hollinshed, 178. 

Hollis Street Theatre (Boston), 128, 

129, 308. 
Homer, 30, 98. 
Hooper, John, 46. 
Hooper, S. Harry, 46, 54. 
Hopper, De Wolf, 154. 
Horace, 98. 

Hospital, St. Luke's, 49. 
Hospital, the New England, 49. 
Hotel Boyleston, 29, 46. 
Hotel Touraine, 29. 
Houghton, Lord, 211. 
Howe, Jr., Frank, 365, 366. 
Howe, Julia Ward, 30, 63. 
Howson, John, 128. 
Hoyt, Charles, 95, 136. 
Hudson, Alfred, 131. 
Hunter, Miss, 376, 380, 382, 469, 471, 

481. 
Hutton, quoted, 181. 

IAGO, 444. 

Ibsen, 15, 16, 193, 259, 283, 348, 416, 

439, 446, 458, 465, 466, 486, 489. 
"I Love the Woods," 139. 
"Influence of Richard Mansfield on 

the American Drama? What was 

the," 489. 

"In Spite of All," 124, 127. 
Irving, Henry, 23-4, 91, in, 120, 156, 

159, 160, 161, 165, 172, 184, 197, 

243, 266, 304, 306, 413, 442. 
"Irving's Successor," 489. 
"Ivan the Terrible, Tzar," 330, 402, 

406-13 (cast), 416, 419, 424, 425, 

426. 

JADOT, MONSIEUR DE, 152, 214, 222. 

See "Monsieur." 
Janauschek, 91. 
"Jealousy," 124. 
Jefferson, Joseph, 91, 273-4, 288, 

289, 304, 369. 
Jerold, Blanchard, 201. 
Jesse, Captain, 201. 
Jewett, Sara, 90, 106. 
Johnson, Rev. Dr., 238. 
Johnson, Samuel, 441. 
Jones, Charles H., 46. 
Jones, John Paul, 416. 
Jones, Margaret, 486. 
Jordan, Eben D., 32, 33, 43, 89, 166, 

190, 239. 

Jubilee, National Peace, 27. 
Jubilee, World's Peace, 27, 82. 
Judson, President, 302. 



"Julius Caesar," 395-400 (cast), 416. 
See Brutus. 

KARL HEINRICH, 402, 403, 404, 405, 
406, 407, 413, 460, 465. See "Old 

"Heidelberg." 

"Kean," 193. 

Kean, Charles, 185, 353, 442. 

Kean, Edmund, 185, 305, 442. 

Keans, The, 20, 441. 

Kelcey, Herbert, 91. 

Kellogg, Clara Louise, 31. 

Kellogg, Fannie, 31. 

Kemble, Charles, 305, 442. 

Kembles, The, 20, 441. 

Kendal, Madge Robertson, 21, 184, 
207, 208. 

Kendal, William H., 21, 184, 207, 208. 

Kennedy, M. A., 363. 

Kent, Charles, 131. 

Kindergarten for the Blind (Boston), 
Benefit for, 212. 

"King Frederick William I," 283. 

"King Henry IV," 25. 

"King Henry V," 200, 283, 348-58 
(cast), 365, 368, 397, 405, 4i6, 460, 
485, 488. 

"King Henry VI," 177, 178. 

"King John," 411, 417. 

"King Lear," 418. 

"King of Peru, The," 270 (cast), 271, 
279. 

"King Richard III," in, 149, 156, 
166, 167, 168, 169, 171, 172, 173 
(cast), 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 
180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 

l88, 189, 190, 192, 200, 214, 221, 
226, 235, 244, 249, 252, 265, 279, 

305, 327, 330, 3 66 396, 397. 4i5. 

419, 420, 421, 426, 429, 444, 45> 

453, 485, 486, 487, 488. 
Kingsbury, Howard Thayer, 313. 
Klaw and Erlanger, 289. 
Knollys, Sir Francis, 265. 
Kobbe, Gustave, 488. 
Kohisaat, Judge C. C., 331. 
Ko-Ko, 128, 129, 130, 131, 153. 
Kraft, Herr, 124. 
Kuchenmeister, Dr., 2. 

LABOUCHERE, HENRY, 163, 184. 
"La Boulangere," 79. 
Lamb, Charles, quoted, 214. 
Leclerq, Carlotta, 167. 
Leclerq, Charles, 91. 
Legge, quoted, 181. 
Lemmons, n. 
Le Moyne, W. J., 91. 



496 



INDEX 



Leon, F. A., 128. 

"Lesbia," 161, 162 (cast). 

"Les Fourberies de Scapin," 24. 

Leslie, Amy, 236, 282, 461, 487. 

Lewis, James, 91. 

Liebhardt, 51. 

Light, Value of, on the Stage, 233. 

Lincoln, John Larkin, Jr., 33, 46, 47, 

49, 343, 3 6 4, 427- 
Liverpool, 166. 
Lloyd, Prince, 339. 
"Lohengrin," 83. 
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 30, 

82. 

Longmans, Messrs., 159 
Lord Chancellor, 96, 97, 99, 100. 
Lorimer, Wright, 428. 
Lorraine, Claude, 98. 
Lotta, 36. 
Louis XI, 123. 
Louisville, 153, 192, 468. 
Lucas, Seymour, 168, 169, 175, 182. 
Luce, Clarence, 46. 
Lyceum Theatre (London), 156, 159, 

161, 162, 164, 165, 166, 197, 314. 
Lyric Theatre (New York), 289, 403. 

"MACBETH," 149, 417, 418, 444. 
Maccabe, Mr., 51. 
Mackave, Steele, 124, 125. 
Mackenzie, Sir Morell, 163, 168. 
Macklin, 182. 
Macready, 20, 91, 161, 442. 
Maddern, Minnie, 124, 125, 128, 288. 
Madison Square Theatre, 133, 134, 

^5, I3 6 , i3 8 !45> J 49, IS 2 , 153, 
193, 202, 207, 283. 

Maeder, Clara Fisher, 136. 

Maeterlinck, 439. 

"Malade Imaginaire, Le," 430. 

"Man and the Actor," 226, 439, 486. 

Manhattan Theatre, 93. 

"Man of Destiny, The," 264. 

Mapleson, 83, 152. 

"Mansfield, Actor, Richard," 488. 

"Mansfield and His Little Boy," 488. 

"Mansfield and Ibsen," 489. 

"Mansfield as Shylock," 477. 

Mansfield Batonchon, Greta, 10, u, 
20, 29, 358. 

Mansfield, Beatrice Cameron, 136, 
137, 161, 162, 164, 193, 197, 211, 
238, 256, 259, 282, 283, 286, 294, 
295, 3-2, 308, 331, 339, 364, 370, 
37 1 , 372, 377, 380, 389, 392, 393, 
433, 434, 469, 470, 47 1 , 477, 47 8 > 
481, 482, 487. 

Mansfield Concert, A, 211. 



Mansfield, Felix, 6, 10, u, 14, 18, 19. 

314, 47 8 , 48i. 
Mansfield, George Gibbs, 315, 364, 

37, 371, 373-94, 469, 470, 47 1 , 472, 
478, 488. 

Mansfield, Harry, 10, n, 14, 20. 

"Mansfield in Several Characters," 
487. 

Mansfield, Maurice, i, 2, 3, 7, 10, n, 
12, 13. 

Mansfield, Mrs. Richard. See Bea- 
trice Cameron. 

"Mansfield, On the Acting of Rich- 
ard," 488. 

"Mansfield, Richard" (two articles), 
488 (three articles), 489 (three 
other articles), 490. 

"Mansfield's Dandies," 487. 

Mantell, Robert, 136. 

"Man With a Past, The," 273. 

Marston, Richard, 396. 

Martinet, Sadie, 130, 131. 

"Mascotte, The," 88. 

Masforrall, M., 46. 

Mason, John, 131, 132. 

"Master and Man," 190, 191 (cast). 
192. 

Mathews, Charles, 21. 

Maxwell, Walter H., 119-20. 

Mazarin, Cardinal, 416. 

McBride, G., 243. 

McCarthy. Justin, 184. 

McCaull, John A., 239. 

McKinley, J. H., 211. 

M^Pherson, Alice J., 211, 212. 

Mees, Arthur, 251. 

"Meg's Diversion," 88. 

Meltzer, Charles Henry, 275. 

MeilhaC; 94. 

Meilhac and Halevy, 79. 

Meissner, Mme. Sophie de, 406, 407. 

Meissonier, 431, 481. 

Mendelssohn, 6, 82. 

Mephistopheles, 25. 

Mersac, Baron de, 122, 123. 

Metzger, John, 142, 175. 

Micheronx, Chevalier de, 6. 

"Midsummer Night's Dream," 25. 

Miersch, Paul, 211. 

Miller, Henry, 91. 

Millocker, 123. 

Mitchell, Maggie, 36. 

Modjeska, 91. 

Mofiere, 24, 25, 30, 416, 425, 430, 431, 
435, 45i, 454- See "The Misan- 
thrope." 

"Monsieur," 150 (cast), 151, 152, 163, 
188, 192, 217. See Jadot. 



INDEX 



497 



"Monsieur Beaucaire." See "Beau- 

caire." 

Monsieur Phillipe, 80. 
Monteuuis, Ferdinand, 18. 
"Moonhill," 477, 478. 
Morality on the Stage,.3O7. 
More, Sir Thomas, 178. 
Morris, Clara, 91. 
Morrison, Lewis, 122. 
Morton, Bishop, 178. 
Moses, Montrose J., 489. 
Mozart, 112, 200. 
Munzig, George, 43, 45, 46, 47, 54, 60, 

13. 2 39- 

"NADJESDA," 124. 

Napier, William, 417. 

Napoleon Bonaparte, 14, 15, 22, 261, 

264, 181-2, 424, 444. 
"Napoleon Bonaparte, Scenes and 

Incidents from the Life of," 261, 

262, 263 (cast), 264, 267, 270, 279. 
Napoleon, Prince (Plon-Plon), 4, 82. 
Nasoni, Podesta of Syracuse, 123. 
"Nero," 156, 219, 220 (cast), 221, 

222, 226, 244, 278, 279, 281, 397, 

444- 
New Amsterdam Theatre, 409, 410, 

411, 412, 413, 429, 471, 472, 476. 
New London, Conn., 238, 370-1, 392, 

435. 479- 
News, The Boston, 37. 

Nicknames, 256. 
Nixon and Zimmermann, 289. 
Nixon, Charles, 461, 
Nordica, Lillian, 184. 
"Not Registered," 88. 
Novello, Clara, 6. 

OCHILTREE,*TOM, 139, 239. 

Offenbach, 78, 79, 121. 

"Old Heidelberg," 401-7 (cast), 412, 

41^. See Karl Hein rich. 
"Old Homestead, The," 132. 
Olwyn, Herbert, 81. 
Omar Khayyam, 416. 
"One Evening," 486. 
Ormeni, Mme., 51. 
Ortrud, 83. 
"Othello," 149, 417. 
"Our Concert Party," 119. 
"Out of the Hunt," 80 (cast). 
Outram, Leonard, 117. 
Owen, Sir Philip Cunliffe, 163. 

PAGE, L. C., 295. 

Paignton, 73. 

Paine, George Henry, 488. 



Palmer, A. M., 90, 92, 100, 102, 103, 
105, 106, 113, 114, 116, 131, 133, 
221, 252, 258, 259, 273, 283, 284, 
292, 312, 316, 317, 401. 

Palmer's Theatre, 189, 191, 283, 485. 

"Parisian Romance, A," 100, 102, 
106 (cast), 107, 108, 109, no, in, 
113, 115, 116, 117, 119, 131, 132, 

140, 144, 162, 163, 192, 193, 227, 
252, 270, 283, 363-4, 368, 419, 470, 
472. See The Baron Chevrial. 

Park Theatre (Boston), 140. 

Parker, Captain John F., U. S. N., 

340. 

Parry, John, 59. 
Parselle, John, 90, 106. 
Pasta, 6. 

Pater, Walter, quoted, 425. 
Patey, Mme., 7. 
"Patience," 95. 
Patti, Adelina, 31. 
Paulton, Harry and Edward, 273. 
Payne, William Morton, 489. 
Pedro XIV, Don. See "The King of 

Peru." 
"Peer Gynt," 18, 235, 236, 330, 348, 

458, 459, 462, 463 (cast), 464, 465, 

466, 467, 468, 470, 47 2 486, 489- 
Penley, W. S., 73. 

Pennsylvania, University of, 303, 430. 
"Perola, ;> 95. 
Perry, J. D., 46, 47. 
"Personal Side of Richard Mansfield, 

The," 488. 

Phelps, Meridan, 308. 
Phelps, Samuel, 20, 251. 
Phelps, U. S. Minister, 160, 163. 
Philadelphia, 96, 99, 113, 117, 140, 

141, 153, 154, 188, 194, 210, 274, 
279, 289, 316, 328, 365-6, 369, 427, 
428, 468, 471. See University of 
Pennsylvania. 

"Philanderer, The," 264. 
Phillips, Stephen, 418. 
Photographs, 405. 
"Pickwick Papers," 25, 98. 
"Pinafore, H. M. S.," 66, 67, 77, 95, 

123. 

Pike, "Larry," 17, 18. 
"Pirate's Own Book, The," 19. 
"Pirates of Penzance, The," 73, 74, 

75. ?6, 77, 95- 
Pit, Riot in the, 175-6. 
Pitt, Fannie Addison, 91. 
Pitt, H. M., 91. 
Pittsburg, 153, 417, 453, 468. 
"Plain Talk on the Drama, A," 226, 

486. 



49 8 



INDEX 



Planquette, 94. 

"Players of the Present," 488. 

Players, The, 361. 

Pleyel, 3. 

Plon-Plon. See Prince Napoleon. 

"Pluto," 81. 

"Poetry and the Drama," 303. 

Poetry on the Stage, Plea for, 224. 

Pollack, Walter, 168, 175, 182. 

Ponisi, Madame, 91. 

Poole, Howard, 159. 

Porter, Benjamin, 43, 46. 

Porter, General Horace, 239. 

Porter, Sir Joseph, 67, 69, 73, 123. See 
" Pinafore." 

Portland, Maine, 53. 

Post, Mr. and Miss, 231, 232. 

Potter, Mrs. James Brown, 136. 

Potter, Paul, 272. 

"Pretenders, The," 348. 

Price, E. D., 165. 

"Prince Karl," 36, 129, 131, 132 (cast), 
133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 141, 
142, 149, 151, 152, 163, 164, 165, 
166, 167, 188, 191, 210, 213, 214, 
222, 227, 231, 234, 236, 237, 270, 
280, 292, 293, 338, 368. 

Princess Theatre, 250, 402. 

Publicity, a Satire on, 287-8. 

Puerner, Charles, 272. 

QUAINTANCE, DlCK AND LlNSLEY 
385. 

RACINE, 30. 

Radford, U. S. N., Admiral, 406. See 

de Meissner. 

Randegger, Signer, 8, n. 
Rand, Mrs., 39, 40, 114. 
Rankin, McKee, 118. 
"Rantzaus, The," 102, 113, 115. 
Raymond, John T., 36, 51. 
Reade, Charles, 124. 
"Recollections of a Player," 101, 487. 
Reed, German, 58, 59, 60. 
Reeves, Sims, 8. 

Rehan, Ada, 91, 241, 316, 419, 420. 
Rembrandt, 98, 416. 
Richman, Charles, 316. 
Richmond, Va., Early Performance at, 

328. 

Rifflardini, 117. 
"Rip Van Winkle," 94, 96. 
Ristori, 91. 
Riverside Drive (N. Y.) Home, 256, 

412, 476, 477, 481. 

Robertson, Tom, 95. See "School." 
Robinson, Dr. S. Q., 46. 



Rodion the Student, The Story of, 275 

(cast), 276, 277, 278, 279, 436. 
"Romeo and Juliet," 197. 
Rose Matinee, A, 232. 
"Rosmersholm," 458. 
Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, quoted, 425. 
Rostand, Edmond, 312, 314, 315, 331, 

333- 
Rous, 179. 

Rudersdorff, Agnese, 3. 

Rudersdorff, Erminia, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 
8, 9, 10, n, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 
28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 38, 39, 47, 50, 
5i. 52, 55, 56, 60, 75, 81, 82, 83, 84, 
85,86, 87, in, 112, 429, 486. 

Rudersdorff, Joseph, 3, 5, 75. 

Rudersdorff, Matilde, 3, 4, 13. 

Ruhl, Arthur, 490. 

Russell, Sol Smith, 36, 51. 

SACKVILLE-WEST, Miss, 210. 
Salter, Mrs. See Turner. 
Salvini, Tomasso, 30, 37, 91, 417. 
San Francisco, 115, 116, 228, 229, 289, 

369, 388, 413, 447, 448-52, 454. 
Santley, Charles, 8. 
Saranac Lake, 479. 
"Sardanapolus," 418. 
Sardou, Victorien, 124, 131. 
Sauret, Emile, 31. 
Savage Club, 58. 
"Scarlet Letter, The," 239 (cast), 240, 

241, 244, 252, 255, 270, 286, 453, 472. 
Schiller, 15, 16, 19, 30, 98, 416, 435, 

438. 

Schiller, Madame, 31. 
"School," 46, 47 (cast), 48, 49, 53, 

54, 57, "3- 
Schumann, Robert, 82. 
Schumann, Madame, u. 
Scott Clement, 160, 184, 307. 
Scranton, 475. 
Seattle, 231-2. 
Seibel, George, 418. 
Selwyn, Dr., Bishop of Lichfield, 24, 

251- 

Selwyn's Hall, 49. 
"Seven Acres," 479, 483. 
Seymour, William, 132. 
Shakespeare, 25, 29, 98, 149, 178, 180, 

185, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 250, 

35, 35 6 , 37, 417, 42i, 422, 423, 

439, 460, 485, 488. 
Shaw, George Bernard, 259, 260, 261, 

264, 282, 283, 285, 286, 439. 
Sheridan, Emma, 200, 226. 
Sheridan, General George A., 139. 
Sherman, Old, 81. 



INDEX 



499 



"She Stoops To Conquer," 168. 

Shook, Sheridan, 116. 

Shubert, Messrs., 403. 

Shylock, 25, 51, 141, 156, 182, 200, 
241, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 
267, 279, 419, 422, 423, 424, 429, 
444, 447, 450. See "The Merchant 
of Venice." 

Siddons, Mrs., quoted, 411. 

Simon, Mme., 197, 477. 

Sims and Pettit, 190. 

Sinclair, Ada, 31. 

"Sinner's Song, The," 299. 

Sitgreaves, Beverley, 197. 

Skinner, Otis, 91. 

Slocum, John, 232, 239, 268. 

Smith, Ballard, 139, 239. 

Smith, Bruce, 168. 

Smith, Greenough, 280. 

Smith, Mrs. Sol, 117. 

"Social Highwayman, A," 273. 

"Some Players," 487. 

Sophia of Baden, Duchess, Patron of 
Erminia Rudersdorff, 4, 5, 82. 

Sothern, E. A., 185. 

Sothern, E. H., 80 (note). 

"Stage in America, 1897-1900, The," 
487. 

"Stage, On Going on the," 61. 

Standard Theatre, 93, 123. 

Stanwood, E. C., 46. 

Staten Island, Performance on, 213. 

Stellar Temperament, The, 126. 

Stetson, John, 125, 128, 130. 

Stevens, B. D., 401, 435, 463, 471, 476. 

Stevenson, Charles, 136. 

Stevenson, Robert Louis, 143. See 
"Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." 

Stimulants, 113. 

Stirling, Mrs., 197. 

Stoddard, Lorimer, 261, 262. 

Stoddard, Richard Henry and Eliza- 
beth Drew, 262. 

Stoddart, J. H., 90, 101-3, IX 3> 4&7- 

Stone, Mary A., 273. 

"Storm, The," 233. 

"Story of a Production, The," 226. 

Stow, John, 179. 

Stowe, John, 239. 

Strakosch, Maurice, 31, 83, in. 

Strang, Lewis C., 487. 

Sullivan, Arthur, 66, 73, 74, 76, 95. 

Sullivan, Barry, 36. 

Sullivan, John, 197. 

Sullivan, Thomas Russell, 144, 149, 
200, 219. 

Sutherland, Mrs. Evelyn Greenleaf, 
365- 



Swift, Dean, 416. 

"Sword and Crozier," 417. 

Syndicate, the Theatrical, 288, 289. 

TACHELLA, B., 490. 
Tacoma, 230-2. 
Tadema, Sir Alma, 396. 
Taft, William H., 454. 
"Talking vs. Acting," 439. 
Talma, 182. 

Tarkington, Booth, 365, 367. 
Taylor, Sir Richard, 163. 
Tearle, Osmond, 90. 
Teck, Duchess of, 163, 184. 
Telbin, William, 168, 396. 
'Ten Thousand a Year," 226, 227 

(cast), 279. 
Teriss, William, 161. 
Terry, Ellen, 91, 184, 209, 418. 
Thackeray, 98. 
Thalberg, 8. 
"The Bells," 23. 
"The First Violin," 307, 308 (cast), 

309, 313. See Courvoisier. 
"The Fisherman's Daughter," 81. 
"The Frenchman," 152, 192. 
"The Hypochondriac." 430. 
"The Jilt," 131. 
"The Master Builder," 458. 
"The Merchant of Venice," 25, 250 

(cast), 251, 397, 422. See Shylock. 
"The Mikado," 127, 128, 129, 130, 

131- 
"The Misanthrope," 425, 430 (cast), 

43 I >435, 45i, 454, 455- See Alceste. 

"The Pretenders," 458. 

"The Shepherd King," 428. 

"The Sorcerer," 76, 77. 

"The Vikings of Helgeland," 458. 

Thomas, Augustus, 96. 

Thomas, Theodore, 31. 

Thompson, Denman, 132. 

Thorne, Charles R., Jr., 90. 

"Three Black Cloaks," 93. 

Thursby, Emma, 31, in, 429. 

Tietjens, Therese, 10, n, 13, 28, 31, 
51,82. 

"Timon of Athens," 417. 

Tirandel, too, 102, 283. 

Tittlebat Titmouse. See "Ten Thou- 
sand a Year." 

Toledo, Ohio, 436. 

Tolstoy, Count Alexis, 406. 

Tolstoy, Count Lyof, 406. 

Toole, 161. 

Torquay, 73, 74. 

"Tosca, La," 124, 159. 

Touraine Hotel (Boston), 368. 



5 oo INDEX 



Train, Elisabeth Phipps, 273. 

Train, Henry F., 46. 

Trebelli, n. 

Tree, Beerbohm, 88, 161, 184. 

"Trilby," 272, 273. 

"True Story Told in Two Cities, A," 

123. 

Turner, Mary, 31. 
Turner, 98. 

Twelfth Night Club, 369-70. 
Tyler, Augustus, 434. 
"Tzar Boris," 406. 
"Tzar Feodor," 406. 

UNION HALL, 50. 

Union Square Company, 100, 105, 

112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 131, 

228, 283. 

VASSAULT, F. I., 489. 
Vaughan, Kate, 168. 
Vedder, Nick, 94. 
Vedder, Jan, 94. 
Vernon, Miss Ida, 106. 
"Victor Durand," 122. 
"Vie Parisienne, La," 121. 
"Vikings, The," 348. 
Virgil, 30, 98. 
Vieuxtemps, 2. 
Vodos, Paul, 17. 
Voice, The, 234, 235. 
Voltaire, 416. 

WAGNER, RICHARD, 31, 398. 

Wainwright, C. D., 46. 

Wainwright, H., 46. 

Wallack, 92, 102, 185. 

Wallack's Theatre, 90, 122, 189, 283. 

Wallenstein, 98. 



Waller, J. G., 168, 182, 485. 
Walnut Street Theatre (Philadelphia), 

289, 427. 

Warkworth's Chronicle, 181. 
Warren, Samuel, 226. 
Washington, D. C., 140, 141,153, 189, 

194, 210, 242, 289, 290, 303, 406, 

468. 

Watson, Albert, 46. 
Watson, Mrs. Charles, 117. 
Webster, W., 211, 212. 
Weeks, Mr., 182. 
Weinhoeber, George, 462. 
West, Kenyon, 488. 
Wells, John Wellington, 76. 
Westminster, Duke and Duchess of, 

163. 

Whistler, 398. 
Whiting, Joseph, 106. 
"Widower's Houses," 260. 
Wigan, Alfred, 21. 
Wigan, Horace, 163. 
Wilde, Oscar, 184. 
William II of Holland, King, 6, 82. 
Wilmot, Sir Henry, 24. 
Wilson, Francis, 288, 338. 
Wingfield, The Hon. Louis, 161. 
Winter, William, 201, 211, 212, 213. 

268, 487, 488, 489- 
Woolstone, Theophilus, 88. 
Wormeley, Katherine Prescott, 430. 
Wright, Fred, 46. 
Wurtemberg, King of, 5. 

YATES, EDMUND, 163. 
Yore, Thomas, 334, 336, 337. 
Young, John, 396. 

ZENKER, PROFESSOR, 14, 22.